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More than an add-on? The Europeanization of the Dutch civil service

Mastenbroek, Ellen, and Princen, Sebastiaan. (2007) More than an add-on? The Europeanization of the Dutch civil service. In: UNSPECIFIED, Montreal, Canada. (Unpublished)

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    [From the introduction]. European integration does not stop to fascinate political scientists. Many of us are excited about this institution that transcends national interests, overcomes collective action problems, and presents member states with such a durable and authoritative framework that they slowly but unrecognizably loose authority to model their own policies as desired. But does it? Despite our excitement, many of us have troubles escaping the reflexes caused by the years of international relations hegemony in studying the EU. Does the EU really have the clout to force member states to adopt unwanted policies? Then how about the never-ending stories about non-compliance, the European Commission’s hesitance in adopting a tough stance on reluctant member states, the difficulties of monitoring actual application and enforcement on the ground? The tension between member state dominance and supranational control continues to offer a well of fascinating research topics. In order to demonstrate the success of the EU in transcending member states’ institutions and policies, or even the domestic interests underlying them, we are advised to answer at least three questions. First, we should answer the question of the extent to which Europe matters for the member states. Because even if we can identify compliance by initially reluctant member states, this may not be very meaningful if the EU’s share in national matters is only minimal. Even though interesting from a theoretical viewpoint, the societal relevance of massive research attempts to explain the fate of EU intervention in member states is slight when it affects only a minimal terrain of national policy making. Second, we should try to answer the question to what extent any processes of Europeanization we observe are truly affecting the core of what member states are doing or are just added on to existing structures and policies. That is, if we believe that the EU really is capable of overriding member state concerns, the adaptations made by member states should be far from ‘easy’. The adoption of coordination structures, for instance, is an interesting phenomenon, but it does not constitute evidence of the EU’s transformative effect as coordination structures may simply be added on to existing organizational arrangements and can perfectly well co-exist with domestic institutions that were already out there. Finally, we should answer the question of how the European Union impacts on member states. Under what conditions does the EU succeed in bringing about domestic change, and when do member states carry on their business as usual?

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    Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (UNSPECIFIED)
    Subjects for non-EU documents: EU policies and themes > Policies & related activities > political affairs > governance: EU & national level
    EU policies and themes > Policies & related activities > europeanisation/europeanization & European identity
    EU policies and themes > Policies & related activities > public policy/public administration
    Countries > Netherlands
    Subjects for EU documents: UNSPECIFIED
    EU Series and Periodicals: UNSPECIFIED
    EU Annual Reports: UNSPECIFIED
    Conference: European Union Studies Association (EUSA) > Biennial Conference > 2007 (10th), May 17-19, 2007
    Depositing User: Phil Wilkin
    Official EU Document: No
    Language: English
    Date Deposited: 30 Jun 2008
    Page Range: p. 34
    Last Modified: 15 Feb 2011 17:51

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