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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.

Author: Paul Copeland

At the heart of the European integration process is the political economy debate over whether the EU should be a market-making project, or if it should combine this with integration in employment and social policy. What has been the impact of the 2004 and 2007 rounds of enlargement upon the political economy of European integration? EU enlargement, the clash of capitalisms and the European social dimension analyses the impact of the 2004 and 2007 enlargements upon the politics of European integration within EU employment and social policy. This book analyses the main policy negotiations in the field and analyses the political positions and contributions of the Central and Eastern European Member States. Through an analyses of the negotiations of the Services Directive, the revision of the Working Time Directive and the Europe 2020 poverty target, the book argues that the addition of the Central and Eastern European states has strengthened liberal forces at the EU level and undermined integration with EU employment and social policy.

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The European Union and its member states

This book takes up traditional approaches to political science. It aims to offer a mixture of conventional and specific analyses and insights for different groups of readers. In view of the European Union's multi-level and multi-actor polity, the book highlights the complex procedural and institutional set-up of nation states preparing and implementing decisions made by the institutions of the European Community (EC). In looking at the emerging and evolving realities of the European polity, it shows how European institutions and Member States (re-)act and interact in a new institutional and procedural set-up. It explores how governmental and non-governmental actors in different national settings adapt to common challenges, constraints and opportunities for which they are mainly themselves responsible. The book discusses the Belgian policy toward European integration as a significant demonstration of its commitment to multilateralism and international co-operation in security and economic affairs. Attitudes to European integration in Denmark, Germany, Finland, Greece, and Spain are discussed. Tendencies towards 'Europeanisation' and 'sectoralisation' of the ministerial administration during the process of European integration and the typical administrative pluralism of the Italian political system seem to have mutually reinforced each other. Strong multi-level players are able to increase their access and influence at both levels and to use their position on one level for strengthening their say on the other. German and Belgian regions might develop into these kinds of actors. A persistent trend during the 1990s is traced towards stronger national performers, particularly in terms of adaptations and reactions to Maastricht Treaty.

Author: Richard Parrish

The increasing commercialisation of sport raises important questions concerning regulation. The development of the European Union (EU) and the internationalization of sporting competition have added an international dimension to this debate. Yet sport is not only a business, it is a social and cultural activity. Can regulation at the EU level reconcile this tension? Adopting a distinctive legal and political analysis, this book argues that the EU is receptive to the claim of sport for special treatment before the law. It investigates the birth of EU sports law and policy by examining the impact of the Bosman ruling and other important European Court of Justice decisions, the relationship between sport and EU competition law, focusing particularly on the broadcasting of sport, the organization of sport and the international transfer system, and the relationship between sport and the EU Treaty, focusing in particular on the impact of the Amsterdam and Nice declarations on sport and the significance of the Helsinki report on sport. This text raises questions concerning the appropriate theoretical tools for analysing European integration.

The dynamics of compound bureaucracies

This book introduces international bureaucracy as a key field of study for public administration and also rediscovers international bureaucracy as an essential ingredient in the study of international organizations. Firstly, the book systematically compares behavioural dynamics within a carefully selected number of international bureaucracies. The focus is on studying these dynamics within international bureaucracies at the actor level - that is, by studying the behaviour and roles as perceived by the officials themselves. The book outlines a conceptual map of four generic behavioural dynamics that are likely to be evoked by these officials: intergovernmental, supranational, departmental and epistemic dynamics. Essentially, the Westphalian international order dominated by the intergovernmental dynamic is challenged to the extent that international bureaucracies embed supranational, departmental and epistemic dynamics in everyday decision-making processes. Admittedly, there are no guarantees that these dynamics always materialise in the actors' behaviour and ultimately in the decisions reached by international organisations. However, they serve as cognitive and normative frames for action, rendering it more likely than not that particular decision-making dynamics are associated with certain behavioural patterns. Secondly, the book illuminates some causal factors that may help to explore the conditions under which different behavioural dynamics are manifested in the behavioural and role perceptions of the incumbents of international bureaucracies. Essentially, the authors do not propose to 'test' the four dynamics outlined above in a rigorous manner. They serve more as 'searchlights for illuminating empirical patterns in our data'.

Concepts, measures and policy processes

The European Union and its member states are investing in ambitious programmes for ‘better regulation’ and targets of regulatory quality. This book lifts the veil of excessively optimistic propositions covering the whole better-regulation agenda, and provides a conceptual framework to handle the political complexity of regulatory governance. It approaches better regulation as an emerging public policy, with its own political context, actors, problems, rules of interaction, instruments, activities and impacts. Focusing on the key tools of impact assessment, consultation, simplification and access to legislation, the chapters provide empirical evidence on the progress made in the member states and in Brussels, drawing on an extensive research project and an original survey of directors of better-regulation programmes in Europe. They show how indicators define, measure and appraise better-regulation policy, linking measures to policy processes in which the stakeholders learn by monitoring. Although better regulation is a top priority for competitiveness in Europe and the legitimacy of EU policy, the level of commitment and the development of tools vary considerably. The major challenge for better regulation is institutionalisation—this calls for clear choices in terms of what the EU wants from better regulation.

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How a secretive circle of finance ministers shape European economic governance
Author: Uwe Puetter

This book a study on the work of the Eurogroup—monthly informal meetings between euro area finance ministers, the Commission and the European Central Bank. It demonstrates how this small, secretive circle of senior decision-makers shapes European economic governance through a routinised informal policy dialogue. Although the role of the Eurogroup has been contested since before the group's creation, its actual operation has never been subject to systematic evaluation. This book opens the doors of the meeting room and shows how an understanding of the interplay of formal provisions and informal processes is pivotal to the analysis of euro area governance. The book advances the conceptual understanding of informal negotiations among senior European and national decision-makers, and provides an in-depth analysis of historical episodes of policy coordination. As other areas of European decision-making rely increasingly on informal, voluntary policy coordination amongst member states, the Eurogroup model can be seen as a template for other policy areas.

The Greek case
Author: Costas Simitis

The book examines the European debt crisis with particular reference to the case of Greece. It investigates its spillover from a Greek-specific problem to a Eurozone-wide crisis and chronicles the policy responses to combat it. The central argument of the book is that the principal cause of the Eurozone’s problems was, and still remains, the indecisiveness of European elites to tackle its underlying deficiencies. Leading Eurozone countries have been unwilling to commit to a common long-term plan which could deal convincingly with complex and inter-related problems affecting both its ‘core’ and its ‘periphery’. The guiding principle of policy responses thus far has been the pursuit of permanent fiscal discipline. Yet, fiscal discipline alone would not provide the long-term solutions required; a steady course towards economic governance and political unification is necessary.

Through the detailed tracing of the evolution of the crisis, the book provides valuable insights into the crucial interconnection between Greece’s own economic troubles and the wider European search for macroeconomic stability and sustainable economic growth. As such, the book appeals well beyond those with a narrow academic interest in Greece. This is very much a discussion about the future of the Eurozone and the European Union as a whole.

UK central government and the European Union
Authors: Simon Bulmer and Martin Burch

It is some thirty-five years since the United Kingdom joined what is now called the European Union. What has been the impact of the EU on UK central government? Has it been transformed or merely adapted to new pressures and requirements? This book explores the ‘Europeanisation’ of the work of civil servants and ministers and how they engage with the EU. Drawing on fresh empirical evidence—including interviews with over 200 serving and retired officials and ministers—it offers a comprehensive analysis of the spreading impact of European integration across government. The study is placed in the context of political divisions over the European Union but the book outlines the often neglected way in which the EU has transformed the business of government. This account charts the process from the Macmillan government's 1961 application to join the European Communities through to the end of Tony Blair's premiership. The book examines the character and timing of responses across government, covering the core government departments and also those more recently affected, such as the Ministry of Defence. It argues that central government has organized itself efficiently to deal with the demands of EU membership despite the often controversial party-political divisions over Europe. However, in placing the book's findings in comparative context, the conclusion is that the effectiveness of UK governments in the EU has been less striking.

European Union re-imagined

Dominant visions have tended towards imagining Europe as an object - an entity of one sort or another. This book explores the different spaces of Europe/European Union (EU). The first part of the book presents research critically examining actor practices within familiar spaces of action - the European Parliament and the European Commission. It makes the case for the salience of research which distinguishes between spaces of 'frontstage' and 'backstage' politics and shows the interactions between the two. One cannot understand how EU gender mainstreaming policy really works unless one engages with the processes and actors involved. The second part presents research showing how, through their political work, a range of individuals and groups have sought to reconcile Europe with social representations of their industry or their nation to bring about change. It presents a case study of impact assessment of flatfish stocks in the North Sea, and contributes to the cross-fertilisation of Science and Technology Studies with a political sociology of the EU. The book shows how actors are pursuing regional interests, and the work they do in referencing Europe promotes agendas in the 'home' contexts of Scotland and canton Zurich. The final part of the book explores practices of EU government which either have been under-explored hitherto or are newly emerging. These are the knowledge work of a European consultant; measurement work to define and create a European education policy space; collective private action to give social meaning to sustainable Europe.