Decentralised Integration as a New Model of Joint Exercise of Community Functions?

From a starting point of relatively clear-cut division of competence between national and supra-national administration, the governing of the EU has incrementally turned towards multi-level adminstraion, characterised by the blurring of previous administrative borders. This paper discusses this development in the form of emerging networks around EU agencies in different sectors.

ARENA Working Paper 31/2002 (html)

Edoardo Chiti

According to the original scheme of the ‘Founding Fathers’, the relations between supranational authorities and national administrations were to be characterised by a strict separation of their respective spheres of competence. This did in fact hold true, at least in the original treaties regulating the Communities. Over the years this framework has been so thoroughly modified that administrative collaboration as a legal reality has become one of the EU’s distinguishing features. As a result, a relatively simple constitutional structure has been rendered slowly but surely more complicated by an increasingly articulated administrative system. The present administrative system is characterised by the fact that the powers relating to the Community public functions are conferred upon a number of structurally separate authorities, whose nature is national, supranational or, sometimes, a composite of the two. The European Community assumes the form of permanent interaction and even merger of what were originally two distinct legal systems.This paper focuses on the relatively new, and most impressive and original technique of administrative integration: the adoption of a number of Community regulations for specific sectors, to be implemented not just by a supranational administration (central or peripheral), but by a plurality of national, supranational and sometimes mixed authorities, with a special role assigned to a Community office. The purpose of this paper is to consider the various regulations by sector as variants of an emerging general model of exercise for certain Community functions. It will be argued that such a general model is presently in the process of consolidation, notwithstanding the variety of approaches adopted by European legislators.

Tags: network approach, decentralisation, governance, multilevel governance
Published Nov. 9, 2010 10:52 AM