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Organisational Change in the Shadow of the Market

Merethe Dotterud Leiren
CICERO Center for International Climate Research
Merethe Dotterud Leiren
CICERO Center for International Climate Research
Open Panel

Abstract

Despite a well-documented and widely held view that EU decision-making contributes to increased deregulation, domestically causing fragmentation of policy areas, evidence suggests that such controversial processes spur debates of reregulation and increased coordination. This paper studies such effects in a public service sector that bears importance on everyday life. As public transport is important for reaching other goals such as accessibility, mobility and environmental aspects, coordination in terms of long-term planning is especially important. Public transport is also a “local service” that most have an opinion about – whether it concerns frequency, prices, low-floor buses or seat belts for school children. In return, politicians are easily blamed for failings. Analysing how EU decisions of the Public Passenger Transport Regulation generated a new debate of reregulation, this paper examines factors that contribute to failed initatives of reintegration, such as the City of Trondheim, Norway, and in Amsterdam, The Netherlands. Hence, the study illustrates how difficult a turn away from market-conforming principles is. Moreover, I show that the attempt of reintegrating activities is closely linked to ideological debates, including issues such as employees’ rights. I also shed light on how bureaucrats wanting to increase their information and regain control of flow of information to politicians play an important role in incremental institutional changes.