Beyond the EU Membership-Non-Membership Dichotomy? Explaining Supranational Identities Among EU Decision-Makers

While the integration of levels of governance has become a commonplace in integration studies, few attempts have been made at actually operationalising what such vertical integration implies. This article is an attempt to fill this lacuna by studying the degree of supranational allegiance among civil servants and how cross-national variation in this field may be accounted for.

ARENA Working Paper 05/2001 (html)

Jarle Trondal

Increasingly, studies of European integration acknowledge the vertical blurring of governance levels in Europe. Processes of European integration and national adaptation (Europeanisation) have increasingly become two flips of the same coin. However, until recently, the study of European integration largely ignored Europeanisation of national government systems. The current study aims at shedding light on this process, by studying the extent to which national civil servants evoke supranational allegiance, in the sense of identification with EU-level institutions.

To respond to the question of how to account for supranational allegiance, three hypotheses are highlighted. First, supra-nationalism may be triggered by the EU membership of each nation-state; second, several scholars assume that the sheer amount of participation in supranational institutions, like EU committees, crucially affects the degree of supranational allegiance of participants; third, some authors have argued that national co-ordination may hamper the emergence of supranational allegiances amongst national civil servants. The empirical analysis responding to these hypotheses builds on survey data of 160 Scandinavian government officials with various experiences from EU committees.

Tags: governance, multilevel governance, Europeanization, integration theory
Published Nov. 9, 2010 10:52 AM