Falkner, Gerda and Hartlapp, Miriam and Leiber, Simone and Treib, Oliver. (2002) Opposition through the Backdoor? The Case of National Non-Compliance with EU Directives. IHS Political Science Series: 2002, No. 83. [Working Paper]
Scholars of European Integration have recently shown increasing interest in the implementation phase of the EU policy cycle, particularly in the extent of, and the reasons for, national non-compliance with European rules. According to an intergovernmentalist perspective, implementation problems should only occur when member states failed to assert their interests in the European decision-making process. Focusing on 23 infringement procedures from the area of labour law, we show that such "opposition through the backdoor" does indeed occur occasionally. However, we demonstrate that opposition at the "rear end" of the EU policy process may also arise without prior opposition at the "front end". Our findings indicate that national non-compliance may also be due to administrative shortcomings, interpretation problems, and issue linkage.
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