ARENA Tuesday Seminar: Christian Rauh

Christian Rauh from the WZB Social Science Center Berlin presented his paper 'Responsive technocrats? Public politicisation of European integration and policy making in the European Commission' at the ARENA Tuesday Seminar on 5 May 2015.

Photo: WZB


What are the policy consequences of the public politicisation of European integration? The article argues that higher levels of public contestation challenge the hitherto often technocratic mode of policy preparation in the European Commission. Increased public attention and contestation render the diffuse public a more relevant stakeholder of Europe’s central agenda-setter because future transfers of competences are more likely to be scrutinized in the public realm. This lets Commission actors generate widely dispersed regulatory benefits, particularly where a regulatory initiative is publicly salient at the time of drafting. Applying this expectation to 17 drafting processes in European consumer policy highlights that the Commission orients its policy choices towards wide-spread consumer interest during periods of high EU politicisation and high issue salience. However, the mechanism is strongly constrained by internal turf conflicts and anticipated Council preferences. In conclusion, politicisation entails both chances and risks for further integration. While it promises enhanced responsiveness to public preferences, it also leads to less efficient decision-making processes.

Download the paper (restricted access)

Please note that this paper is work in progress and thus has limited distribution, please contact us if you would like access. Do not cite without permission from the author.

Published Jan. 20, 2015 3:35 PM - Last modified Apr. 24, 2017 2:00 PM