Too Difficult to Handle? Compliance with EU Policy in a Mult-Level Context

38 Pages Posted: 25 Aug 2014

See all articles by Bernard Steunenberg

Bernard Steunenberg

Institute of Public Administration, Campus Den Haag

Antoaneta L. Dimitrova

Leiden University - Campus the Hague- Department of Public Administration

Date Written: 2014

Abstract

In this paper we focus on compliance with EU directives in the context of multi-level governance. Policies specified by EU directives move through different decision-making stages before they are implemented. We integrate these decision-making stages and actors in a game theoretical model aiming to explain implementation in the EU setting. We first examine these stages and processes and specify the actors playing a role in them: European and domestic policymakers, but also domestic implementing actors. Practice and organizational literature findings already indicate that formal and informal policies can differ considerably. Our model shows that such a divergence is the result of the interactions of three sets of actors at different levels. More specifically, we argue that depending on the level of domestic political polarization, implementing actors may have different degrees of discretion to apply different domestic policies. We illustrate the main findings of our model with cases of transposition and implementation of the EU rules regarding cultural heritage in the European Union. Based on our analysis, we suggest that EU policy implementation is best understood as a patchwork of domestic processes in which implementing actors affect outcomes within limits set by national and European decision-makers.

Keywords: European Union, multi-level governance, policy implementation, cultural heritage policy

Suggested Citation

Steunenberg, Bernard and Dimitrova, Antoaneta L., Too Difficult to Handle? Compliance with EU Policy in a Mult-Level Context (2014). APSA 2014 Annual Meeting Paper, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2454678

Bernard Steunenberg (Contact Author)

Institute of Public Administration, Campus Den Haag ( email )

P.O. Box 13228
Den Haag, 2501EE
Netherlands

Antoaneta L. Dimitrova

Leiden University - Campus the Hague- Department of Public Administration ( email )

Schouwburgstraat 2
the Hague
Netherlands

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