Europeanization and the Soft Law Process of EU Corporate Governance: How Has the 2003 Action Plan Impacted on National Corporate Governance Codes?
18 Pages Posted: 6 Jun 2016
Date Written: July 2016
Europeanization addresses the impacts of EU (European Union) membership on national politics and policies. Over time, new policy processes have been developed, such as the use of soft law and the open method of co‐ordination. What, though, are the consequences of these new processes for Europeanization? This article contributes to this under‐researched area by examining the extent to which EU soft law influences policy adoption at the national level. Our empirical application is corporate governance, an area of growing EU policy interest, with significant soft law elements. We analyse the extent to which the European Commission's 2003 plan to enhance corporate governance achieved its aim of 'co‐ordinating corporate governance efforts of Member States'. Our quantitative analysis of 95 national codes issued over 1992–2010 suggests that the Action Plan did influence national policy‐making, but that the degree of national policy alignment depends on when the corporate governance code was issued, where, and by whom.
Keywords: content analysis, convergence, corporate governance, corporate governance codes, europeanization, soft law
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