An Organization Theory Perspective on Multilevel Governance in the EU: The Case of the EEA as a Form of Affiliation

What are the organisational logics underpinning relations between the national level and the EU? This paper illuminates EU-nation-state dynamics by contrasting the EEA affiliation of Norway to full-fledged membership membership. Where the latter is characterised by equilibrium between sectoral and territorial concerns (Commission vs. Council), the Norwegian case is somewhat different.

ARENA Working Paper 21/1997 (html)

Morten Egeberg and Jarle Trondal

In the EU, contending organizational principles are embedded in important institutions, and this is supposed to have consequences for how policy processes unfold at the national level. Though challenged, the sector logic of the Commission structure, and the territorial logic of the Council structure are, more or less, balancing each other. As regards the EEA countries, however, the Council structure and the interlocking dynamics across sectors that it is assumed to encourage in the member states, is relatively 'absent'. On this ground, it is argued that, as far as the relevant policy areas are concerned, the EEA countries may be more sectorally penetrated than the member states. The Norwegian data show that the legislative adaptation to the EU takes place at a broad scale, and is highly dynamic. The amount of inter-sectoral interventions at the central government level seems to be moderate, and the data indicate that such co-ordination efforts have been weakened subsequent to the 'interim period', during which the Council structure was open for Norwegian participation. However, factors that may be modifying the sectoral penetration of Norway are also discussed.

Tags: Norway, organization theory, EEA-agreement
Published Nov. 9, 2010 10:52 AM