Schout, Adriaan (2009) Organisational learning in the EU’s multilevel governance system. In: UNSPECIFIED. (Unpublished)
The EU’s governance reform does not match the expectations of its promoters; the ‘new’ instruments seem to under-perform. One explanation, explored here, is that governance has been discussed without much attention for capacities at the operational level. Analyses are needed of how instruments are used and designed within the EU’s multilevel administrative system. To move from governance to capacities, three interrelated levels of learning are distinguished to examine whether changes in governance are supported by developments in organisational capacities: ‘governance learning’, ‘instrument learning’ and ‘organisational learning’. One hypothesis is that these need to develop simultaneously. The second hypothesis is that, in the EU's multilevel administration, learning along these dimensions has to take place in parallel at EU and national levels. This article analyses the capacities which the Commission and the Netherlands have created to support the better regulation agenda. It concludes a match between the three levels of learning in the Commission but a mismatch between learning in the Commission and the Netherlands. This multilevel mismatch may help to explain the lack of success of the EU’s better regulation agenda.
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