Run-away bureaucracy? Exploring the role of National Regulatory Agencies in the EU
Drawing on fresh empirical data, this paper accounts for the inter-penetration between the European Commission and national regulatory agencies. Focusing on the environmental domain, a comparative Nordic analysis shows that integration differs, in part due to organizational features and administrative culture.
This paper reports a comparative study of the Environmental Regulatory Agencies in Norway, Denmark and Finland. Increasingly and relatively independently these agencies are taking part in transnational networks in the EU involving the European Commission. A strong informal penetration, fuelled by new and faster electronic technology, is taking place between the European Commission and the regulatory agencies, largely outside the control of the domestic politico-administrative leadership. This development may be questionable from a democratic point of view.
The three national agencies differ with regard to degree of independence from their parent ministry and degree of contact with the European Commission. These differences may be explained by various formal organizational features, but also by cultural factors rooted in the specific national administrations.
This article has later been published in Scandinavian Political Studies Vol.31, No.1, pp.91-102