The Limits of Europeanization: Regulatory Reforms in the Spanish and Portuguese Telecommunications and Electricity Sectors

25 Pages Posted: 4 Aug 2005

See all articles by Jacint Jordana

Jacint Jordana

Universitat Pompeu Fabra; IBEI

David Levi‐Faur

Hebrew University of Jerusalem - Political Science Department and The Federmann School of Public Policy and Government & School of Public Policy

Imma Puig

Universitat Pompeu Fabra

Abstract

The creation of an EU-level regulatory regimes for telecommunications and electricity was a highly successful political initiative of the European Commission. In promoting market liberalization for telecommunications (a key sector in the creation of the 'information economy') and electricity (one of the sectors most resistant to change) the European Commission asserted the political importance of European project. Indeed, the two new regimes are commonly cited as successful cases of 'Europeanization.' However, this paper argues that the causal link between European initiatives and national policy change is weak. Building on an emerging tradition of cross-sector research of these two sectors, and considering two most-similar European countries, the paper examines commonalities and variations in the regulatory reforms of telecommunications and electricity in Spain and Portugal in the last two decades. It applies a series of comparisons, including a stepwise comparative analysis of two countries (one a reluctant liberalizer, the other an enthusiastic one), of two sectors (a pace-setter and a foot-dragger) and of two time periods (before and after the regulatory reforms). We suggest that processes of Europeanization can impinge on the strategic capacities of European member states only to a limited degree. Spain and Portugal were able to shape their sectors according to the preferences of their national policy communities and in a context of a global shift in the way countries both within Europe and outside it defined their interests.

Keywords: Europeanization, regulatory politics, liberalization, electricity policy, telecommunication policy, economic integration, political science

Suggested Citation

Jordana, Jacint and Levi-Faur, David and Puig, Imma, The Limits of Europeanization: Regulatory Reforms in the Spanish and Portuguese Telecommunications and Electricity Sectors. European Integration online Papers (EIoP), Vol. 9, No. 10, July 2005, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=765185

Jacint Jordana (Contact Author)

Universitat Pompeu Fabra ( email )

Ramon Trias Fargas 25-27
08005 Barcelona
Spain

HOME PAGE: http://www.upf.edu

IBEI ( email )

Ramon Trias Fargas
Barcelona, 08005
Spain

HOME PAGE: http://www.ibei.org

David Levi-Faur

Hebrew University of Jerusalem - Political Science Department and The Federmann School of Public Policy and Government & School of Public Policy ( email )

Mount Scopus
Jerusalem
Israel

Imma Puig

Universitat Pompeu Fabra ( email )

Ramon Trias Fargas 25-27
08005 Barcelona
Spain

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