Europeanization of Sea-Level Bureaucrats. A Case of Ship Inspectors’ Training
In this paper the author asks how the EU is utilizing national bureaucracies and finds evidence of Europeanization of maritime inspections, adding to the body of evidence suggesting a new international, multilevel administrative order with stronger traits of direct implementation is emerging.
How is the EU utilizing national bureaucracies, this paper asks. It reports findings from semi-structured interviews with ship inspectors and their superiors about international training efforts aimed at harmonizing inspections. The maritime sector, with its highly institutionalized global rule-making, may constitute an unlikely case for EU co-optation of national bureaucrats for historical, institutional and economic reasons, but by examining the work of ‘sea-level bureaucrats’ we see how the EU builds executive capacity at the lowest level of national bureaucracies and gain insight into some hitherto under-researched mechanisms of implementation and compliance in European governance. We find evidence of Europeanization of inspections, adding to the body of evidence suggesting a new international, multilevel administrative order with stronger traits of direct implementation is emerging.