The Transformation and Sustainability of the European Political Order – EuroTrans (completed)

EuroTrans is a ARENA-based project financed by the Research Council of Norway. The Department of Political Science is taking part in the Work Package 1 of the project: The administrative-regulative dimension of political order.

About the project

This work package deals with what we call new ‘centre formation’ as regards executive power at the European level. Compared to ordinary international organizations, it is peculiar to the EU that a multi-functional executive body with its own political leadership has been set up outside the ministers’ council. Focusing on organisational factors, we ask under what conditions this executive body, the European Commission, is able to act relatively independently from national governments. Over the last couple of decades EU-level agencies may have complemented the Commission’s executive capacity. We ask whether these bodies actually contribute to executive centre formation or whether they are better portrayed as vehicles of national control.

It is common wisdom that the existence of the Commission (and the European Parliament) makes policy-making much more complex than a simple intergovernmental understanding points to. As regards policy implementation, i.e. the practising of EU rules and policies, the standard interpretation is, though, that this is solely in the hands of national governments which are seen to enjoy a kind of ‘administrative sovereignty’ in this respect, thus leaving only a monitoring role to the Commission. In this project, however, we try to understand the circumstances under which a qualitatively new kind of multilevel executive order might emerge: Do we see a more direct involvement of the Commission and EU-level agencies in the daily administrative life of national bodies in charge of execution, i.e. national agencies? To what extent are national agencies becoming ‘double- or multi-hatted’, relating to their respective parent ministries, but, simultaneously, also to the EU executive as well as to ‘sister-agencies’ in other countries, thus also constituting parts of a multi-level Union administration?

You can read more about the EuroTrans project at the ARENA webpages

Published Sep. 24, 2010 1:07 PM - Last modified Jan. 17, 2014 10:29 AM