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ECPR

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New EU Governance Tools and EU Policy Implementation: Analyzing the Role of European Administrative Networks (I)

European Politics
European Union
Governance
Europeanisation through Law
Policy Implementation
P250
Ellen Mastenbroek
Radboud Universiteit Nijmegen
Dorte Sindbjerg Martinsen
University of Copenhagen
Eva Ruffing
Osnabrück University

Abstract

The paradox at the heart of EU governance is to fill the gap between the demand of EU´s regulatory responsibilities and the limited delegation of power by its member states. The development of the European Administrative Space is a joint exercise of powers in which integrated national administrations share sovereignty. Operating within this space, networks of national administrative units are a key element of EU governance. European Administrative Networks have been established as a reaction to the need of member states to deal with common problems without surrendering too much power to the Commission. In contrast to agenda-setting or decision-making networks, European Administrative Networks deal with joint action problems arising in the implementation or enforcement of common policies. They can thus be defined as networks of national administrative units, such as agencies, ministries or civil servants with tasks in the realm of national implementation and enforcement of EU law. European Administrative Networks thus carry the promise of an effective governance tool leading to further European integration. By exchanging best practices, pooling resources and monitoring each other´s performance, network interaction among civil servants across Europe should lead to policy convergence, increased cooperation and effective problem solving. Yet, this positive assessment is still disputed. Empirical accounts of policy convergence as a result of network activities are still rare. Furthermore, the verdict on functionalist versus political explanations on network establishment is still out. In light of tensions between intergovernmentalism and supranational steering present in European integration, member states may also use intergovernmental strategies vis-à-vis each other. It is still unclear how member states utilize different types of European networks and what drives network establishment, functioning, and impact across policy areas. In addition, the accountability of such potential key tools of European governance remains unexplored. Moreover, we know next to nothing about how European administrative networks change over time. Our panel brings together researchers interested in studying European Administrative networks as a key feature of the emerging European administrative space as well as researchers interested in analyzing these new(er) EU governance tools in a broader comparative context. The papers will present different findings on the establishment, functioning, impact, and accountability of administrative networks in consolidating – or failing to do so - the European administrative space.

Title Details
Administrative and Private Networks in European Governance: Coevolving or Competing? The Case of Energy and Banking View Paper Details
The Diverse Development of European Networks: The Cases of CESR and ECN View Paper Details
Differentiated Policy Learning? A Study on the Use of Information in the European Migration Network View Paper Details
European Agencies Independence and Influence in Comparison – Towards a More Comprehensive Picture View Paper Details
From Cooperation to Coordination: the Evolution of European Administrative Networks View Paper Details