Multilevel Regulation and the EU: A Brief Introduction
MULTILEVEL REGULATION AND THE EU: THE INTERPLAY BETWEEN GLOBAL, EUROPEAN AND NATIONAL NORMATIVE PROCESSES, A. Follesdal, R. Wessel, J. Wouters, eds., Martinus Nijhoff, 2007
6 Pages Posted: 23 Aug 2010 Last revised: 5 Sep 2010
Date Written: 2008
This book starts out from the finding that international regulatory processes are having an ever-increasing impact on European and national regulatory activities.
There appears to be, in the first place, a broad range of international regulatory forums, from intergovernmental organisations with a broad mandate to intergovernmental bodies with very technical and specific mandates, treaty-based conferences that do not amount to an international organisation, informal intergovernmental cooperative structures, and even private organisations. The decision-making processes that result in regulatory activity in these forums likewise seem to be very diverse. At least as diverse seem the instruments used within these various regulatory forums. These range from “hard law” to “soft law”, exchange of best practices and bench-marking, to mutual recognition and even to tools that at first sight may not seem normative in nature but that can have such effects, such as policy programmes, modes of assessment, reporting and monitoring systems, and loan conditionality. The degree to which such international regulatory regimes are binding is linked with both the character of the instruments and procedures aimed at implementation and compliance. Rules, standards and principles can be included in traditional, legally binding conventions, negotiated between States or in the framework of an international organisation, or can have the status of technical annexes to such conventions, to be amended through simplified procedures; but they can also take the form of mere recommendations, policy guidelines or political declarations.
A combination of insights from other disciplines is needed to be able to enhance the legitimacy of international regulation, to provide the necessary accountability and legitimacy of standard-setters and to cope with the multilevel nature of what has traditionally been viewed as separate national, European and international legal spheres. The present book aims to contribute to this debate by examining and reflecting upon the extent to which the EU and its Member States are confronted with “international regulation” by international organisations and bodies.
Keywords: multilevel regulation, the European Union, international regulation, international organization
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