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Central governments and the macro-implementation of EU public policy

In spring 1990, Greece had a new conservative government after eight years of socialist rule. Two broad strategies to steer post-transposition implementation can be envisaged. First, governments may seek to be more pro-active by taking account of the exigencies of implementation in previous stages of the Eoropean Union (EU) policy process. Second, they may adopt specific measures such as the recruitment of more and better trained staff, which shall seek to ensure better implementation at street-level. This book sets out to examine the first strategy in an effort to draw wider lessons regarding the development of the process of European integration. Specifically, it seeks to examine the way in which national central governments deal with the exigencies of the implementation of EU public policy. Focusing on the central governments of Greece, France and the UK and the case of public procurement, it provides an institutionalist account of the dynamics of implementation. Patterns of implementation mirror the way in which these actors participate in the formulation of EU public policy. Drawing on implementation theory, the concept of macro-implementation is introduced. Next, the book examines the patterns of institutional change in the concrete cases of Greece, France and the UK. It presents the EU's public procurement policy and maps the institutional terrain in the three central governments with a focus on the handling of public procurement policy. After discussing the transposition of EU public procurement directives in Greece, France and the UK, the book looks at their macro-implementation between 1981 and 2006.

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Dionyssis G. Dimitrakopoulos

This introduction presents an overview of the key concepts discussed in the subsequent chapters of this book. The book starts to examine the first strategy in an effort to draw wider lessons regarding the development of the process of European integration. It also examines the way in which national central governments deal with the exigencies of the implementation of EU public policy. The book focuses on the central governments of Greece, France and the UK and the case of public procurement to provide an institutionalist account of the dynamics of implementation. It introduces the concept of macro-implementation in an effort to give more specific meaning to the involvement of central governments in the implementation stage of the EU policy process. The book explains the patterns of institutional change in the concrete cases of Greece, France and the UK.

in The power of the centre
Dionyssis G. Dimitrakopoulos

This chapter discusses the concept of 'implementation' and highlights its complexity and dynamics, and the role of institutions therein. In addition to the fixers that exist at the national level, there are two institutional fixers at the level of the EU, namely the European Commission and the European Court of Justice (ECJ). The chapter draws on theoretical work on implementation in an effort to identify the precise role of central governments therein and the crucial requirement of the co-ordination of its activity. The differences between micro-implementation and macro-implementation are significant in terms of their functional exigencies as well as the interactions between actors who are involved therein. While micro-implementation is likely to focus on numerous examples of one aspect of a policy, macro-implementation concerns entire sets of such examples or even policy sectors and sub-sectors.

in The power of the centre
Dionyssis G. Dimitrakopoulos

This chapter examines the way in which the exigencies of membership of the EU have been dealt with at the domestic level. It focuses on the patterns of institutional development within the three central governments (Greece, France, and the UK), executive-legislative relations and national mechanisms used for the transposition of EU legislation. Parliament has routinely delegated to the government the power to adopt decrees that transpose EU legislation covering areas that normally require primary legislation. A significant part of the structures that deal with EU affairs today stem from France's involvement in the implementation of the Marshall Plan and the creation of the Organisation for European Economic Co-operation (OEEC/OECD). Although the three governments have established committees in an effort to achieve co-ordination, their operation differs in the sense that it has been very patchy in Greece, less patchy in France and quite consistent in Britain.

in The power of the centre
Dionyssis G. Dimitrakopoulos

This chapter seeks to examine the emergence and the development of the European Union's (EU) public procurement policy, especially the changes that it was meant to bring about at the national level. It presents the national institutional structures that deal with public procurement policy in Greece, France and Britain. The logic of EU policy is based on three fundamental elements, namely selectivity, the principle of transparency and the equal treatment of tenderers. The development of the policy has led it beyond the limits of a mere framework for the co-ordination of national policies which was the initial objective. Responsibility for public procurement was dispersed within the Greek central government. The Commission Centrale des Marchés (CCM) has traditionally been the most prominent part of the French administrative structures that deal with public procurement policy.

in The power of the centre
Abstract only
Dionyssis G. Dimitrakopoulos

This chapter seeks to discuss the way in which EU directives on public procurement have been transposed into national legislation. It also seeks to ascertain whether there is a common pattern of EU-induced convergence in terms of the transposition of these directives and, more importantly, to what extent patterns of transposition are related to key characteristics of national central governments. The transposition of the directives on public works presents a more diverse picture. Those that had been adopted prior to 1981 were characterised by problems regarding the specificity and accuracy of the Greek legislation. The process of transposition in France was, throughout the 1970s and 1980s, one of accurate and, in most cases, swift and timely transposition based on the use of formal and informal authority. Transposition in the UK has been characterised by the initial use of administrative circulars and guidelines by the administration.

in The power of the centre
Dionyssis G. Dimitrakopoulos

This chapter examines the impact of central government institutions on the domestic patterns of implementation. It seeks to shed light on the dynamics of these patterns over a period of twenty-five years. The process of change that underpins the implementation of EU public procurement policy in Greece has been channelled through central government institutions aiming to produce lasting effects. The action of the Commission Centrale des Marchés (CCM), whose economic section took the initiative to open the debate in France on the implementation of the basic principles of the Treaty of Rome in public procurement, took a number of forms. Administrative implementation of EU public procurement policy in the UK reflects the centrality of the Treasury in the wider transition to the neo-liberal paradigm accomplished by the Conservative party after the general election of 1979.

in The power of the centre
Abstract only
Dionyssis G. Dimitrakopoulos

This chapter discusses the link between the findings and our understanding of patterns of implementation in the EU, the literature on the so-called 'Europeanisation' of the nation state and the development of European integration. The liberalisation of public procurement in the EU entails the transposition and implementation of the EU's directives at the national level. The argument about the impact of the integrated (or fragmented) nature of a given politico-administrative structure concerns both transposition and the action taken by central governments in their effort to steer post-transposition activity. Both in Greece and France the central governments introduced significant incremental reforms aiming to resolve problems that concerned the post- transposition stage. The study of implementation and the role of central governments therein also reveal the limits of the theoretical work which assumes that governments are unitary actors.

in The power of the centre