INCOOP - Dynamics of Institutional Cooperation in the European Union

Research question/goal: 

The Initial Training Network (ITN) brings together a group of universities, think-tanks and high-level officials that all share a long-term interest in a better understanding of the functioning of institutions in the European system of multi-level governance. The focus of the research is the rapidly evolving field of European inter-institutional cooperation. The in-depth and inter-disciplinary study of cooperative forms of decision- and policymaking is not only of interest in the light of the current political and academic debate on institutional reform but also contributes to our broader understanding of the origins, evolution and effects of institutions. The focus of the ITN at the Mannheim node will be on domestic political parties and their role in EU policy-making. The interdisciplinary knowledge and experience of the project partners is pooled with the main objective of improving the European career opportunities of young researchers by offering them a coherent academic training programme complemented with a professional skills training programme. In addition the network will also be a catalyst for intensive cooperation and exchange of best practices amongst the participating partners and promote interaction and fertilization between academia, professional organizations and representatives of the European institutions. Given the intensity of the cooperation, it is to be expected that the network will also provide a solid basis for cooperation and interaction beyond ITN. Domestic political parties and EU policy-making: Informal cooperation in the EU’s multi-level system of governance.

Current stage: 

The project investigates the role of scientific expertise in the EU regulatory policy-making. It critically explores the assumption that European regulatory agencies (ERAs) are mere functional problem-solvers and argues that expertise can be used not only for problem-solving but also for strategic and symbolic purposes. Currently, the study is in its early data collection stage. The study will mainly draw from primary sources, including policy documents and semi-structured interviews with the key actors involved in the process of scientific output production by EFSA: the staff of EFSA; scientists who assisted EFSA by providing scientific/technical expertise; key external actors and stakeholders, e.g. the European Commission; organized interest groups, e.g. industry.

Fact sheet

EU (Marie Curie)
2010 to 2014
Data Sources: 
Surveys, interviews, documents
Geographic Space: 
Western Europe