ECPR

Install the app

Install this application on your home screen for quick and easy access when you’re on the go.

Just tap Share then “Add to Home Screen”

ECPR

Install the app

Install this application on your home screen for quick and easy access when you’re on the go.

Just tap Share then “Add to Home Screen”

Back to Panel Details
Back to Panel Details

Soft Law in the EU Multilevel System

European Union
Governance
Regulation
Comparative Perspective
P370
Bartolomeo Cappellina
Sciences Po Grenoble
Fabien Terpan
Sciences Po Grenoble
Sebastiaan Princen
University of Utrecht
Open Section

Tuesday 11:15 - 13:00 (25/08/2020)


Abstract

Today, the EU seems to rely more and more on soft norms, in particular in areas of new competences (Senden 2004, Korkea-aho 2015, Terpan 2015). However, relatively few publications give an overview of soft law as opposed to hard law and different definitions of what actually constitutes soft law make it difficult to draw consistent conclusions on questions such as why and when soft law norms are used in policy-making, policy implementation and policy enforcement. Why do member states and EU institutions choose either soft or hard law? What is the share of non-binding norms in policy-making at EU level? Why and when is soft law used at member states level? What similarities or differences exist between hard and soft law implementation and enforcement? This panel deals with these questions through theoretical assessments on the elaboration, use and enforcement of soft law at European and national level. A first paper will present a conceptual framework aimed at explaining the use of soft law in the EU through a cycle made of three different stages: creation of soft law at EU level; use or non-use of soft law at national level; feedback effects at EU level. A second paper presents for the first time a new database of EU soft law acts built through Eur-Lex and other sources (DGs, EU agencies), including data from seven policy sectors over a 15 years span (2004-2019) and more than 7000 acts. Two other papers included in the panel present a comparative study of European soft law in various policy sectors from a quantitative perspective. The sectors of financial regulation and sustainable agriculture policy on one side, and state aid policy, pharmaceutical regulation, food security, and common foreign and security policy on the other, are compared by these papers. The papers present the theoretical framework and the empirical ground for the comparison among policy sectors in soft law elaboration, use and enforcement. These initial results are put into perspective by the authors which conclude on the implications of the distribution and evolution of EU soft law in these policy sectors for its use and enforcement at national level.

Title Details
The Evolution of EU Soft Law in Financial Legislation and Sustainable Agriculture (2004-2019): What We Can Learn from Two Most Different Policy Fields View Paper Details
The Importance of Soft Law for EU Actors and Institutions: Looking into Four EU Policy Areas View Paper Details
Conceptualising the Use of Soft Law in the EU Multilevel System View Paper Details
EfSoLaw: a New Data Set on the Evolution of Soft Law in the European Union View Paper Details