The Europeanization of the Structures of Political Order: Adjusting to European Regulatory Systems

Research question/goal: 

The many policy analyses now available to us show strikingly that the "Community integration" of ever more political areas has led to an expansion of genuinely European regulations. Given the marked heterogeneity in regulative systems among European states, that vary in addition by political area, the question poses itself whether and under which conditions introducing European regulative policy can or will lead to a convergence of sectoral steering in the individual member countries. Along with such a tendency, however, one also notes the persistence and sometimes even the increase in the incidence of differentiation. The obvious explanations, namely that this can be explained by differences in initial situation, the position of interests or the bargaining power of the actors involved, or the extent to which claimed European rights to regulate are gainsaid, is not empirically convincing. The politics of Europe-wide harmonization of sectoral regulative systems are far more influenced by the character of the multilevel system, as well as the mixed relationship within the levels of (selective) negotiation systems and (generally representative) majority systems. The goal of the project is to provide an analytic model that does justice to these connections, and to apply it to empirical examples. European environmental policy will be the focus of investigation.

Fact sheet

1997 to 1998