Thedvall, Renita. (2007) "The EU’s Nomads: national Eurocrats in European policymaking". In: UNSPECIFIED, Montreal, Canada. (Unpublished)
The paper focuses on the EU bureaucrats – Eurocrats – and their work. Special attention is placed on the Eurocrats’ work in EU Committees, working groups and council meeting. I have followed and observed their work first, through a trainee position at the Commission and second, by following the Swedish delegation to the Employment Committee meetings. The ethnographic study of the Eurocrats brings them to life as people of flesh and blood – beyond the stereotype. It shows that going by the book and forming technocratic EU decisions is not an option for these bureaucratic elites. They have to be flexible in handling their multiple roles and knowing when to play – and when to stop playing – the game. The paper shows that the roles Eurocrats play shift through the process: pendulum between articulating and defending ‘national’ positions and acting in the interest of the EU swings back and forth. In this way, the Eurocrats’ shifting roles contribute to the process of europeanisation. Sooner or later, playing the game in Brussels forces them to put on the hat of a ‘European’ formulating postnational EU decisions. These Eurocratic practices fashion that which we identify as the EU. We may debate if these EU policy decisions are changing the member states’ policies in any significant sense. Regardless, these Eurocrats are through their practices forming EU decisions that go beyond the nation state in a sense forming, if not to its fullest than at least, an embryo towards a postnational European community.
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