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"Breaking down the monolith: The European Commission as a multi-organisation: EC policy-making in the social policy and IT sectors"

Cram, Laura. (1993) "Breaking down the monolith: The European Commission as a multi-organisation: EC policy-making in the social policy and IT sectors". In: UNSPECIFIED, Washington, DC. (Unpublished)

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    Abstract

    The underlying theme of this paper is that to properly understand the process of European integration, it is vital to understand the dynamics of the European policymaking process and the crucial role of the European Commission within this process. Until recently most theories of policy-making in the EC have focussed on the dominant role of national governments. However, this approach is unable to account for the continual increase in Community legislation where there has been national opposition to EC intervention. The Commission of the EC, acting within the many constraints upon it, has played an important role in shaping the environment in which policies are developed, in justifying a role for the EC, mobilising support for its action, and in selecting the types of policy intervention pursued by the EC. The Commission, like all bureaucracies, is not a monolithic unit. It is made up of a multiplicity of Directorate-Generals, policy units and task forces, many of which consider their role to be quite discrete from that of the other units. Yet there has been little attempt to study the internal functioning of the various units within the Commission and the effects of the many, potentially conflictual, organisational cultures upon the policy-making process and ultimately upon the process of European integration. In this paper the internal dynamics of the policy-making process within the European Commission in two directorates (DGV(Employment, Industrial Relations and Social Affairs) and DGXIII (Telecommunications, Information Industries and Innovation)) are explored. The differences and similarities in the ways in which these DG's have succeeded in influencing their respective policy sectors, the various constraints upon them, and their relationships with important sectoral actors are examined. The importance of the language of justification is highlighted, and the extent to which this has altered over time in both policy areas as new "buzz words" come into fashion is examined. It is argued that a vital characteristic of the Commission's ability to influence any policy sector is its ability to respond rapidly to any "windows of opportunity", ripe for EC intervention, or indeed to facilitate the appearance of these windows. The means required to achieve this end, and the degree of success they meet, vary, however, from sector to sector.

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    Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (UNSPECIFIED)
    Subjects for non-EU documents: EU policies and themes > Policies & related activities > industrial policy
    EU policies and themes > Policies & related activities > information technology policy
    EU policies and themes > Policies & related activities > telecommunication policy
    EU policies and themes > EU institutions & developments > European Commission
    EU policies and themes > Policies & related activities > employment/labour market > employment/unemployment
    EU policies and themes > Policies & related activities > employment/labour market > industrial/labour relations
    EU policies and themes > Policies & related activities > social policy > general
    EU policies and themes > EU institutions & developments > institutional development/policy > decision making/policy-making
    Subjects for EU documents: UNSPECIFIED
    EU Series: UNSPECIFIED
    ["eprint_fieldname_eusries" not defined]: UNSPECIFIED
    EU Annual Reports: UNSPECIFIED
    Conference: European Union Studies Association (EUSA) > Biennial Conference > 1993 (3rd), May 27-29, 1993
    Depositing User: Phil Wilkin
    Official EU Document: No
    Language: English
    Date Deposited: 12 Apr 2007
    Page Range: p. 23
    Last Modified: 15 Feb 2011 17:46
    URI: http://aei.pitt.edu/id/eprint/7163

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