The New Eurocrats: What Exposure to EU Policy Making Does to Public Administrations
The purpose of the project was to determine the effects of exposure to EU decision making on the attitudes to professionalised public administration across a selection of new East European EU member states.We hypothesised that a process of socialisation would increase professionalisation attitudes relative to administrators who where not exposed to EU work. To investigate this we distributed an extensive survey to fifteen ministries across seven countries. We found that EU work did generally increase professionalisation attitudes, although among those that worked on EU matters there was no reliable connection to the amount of time that was spent or the type of work performed. We also found that certain measures that we expected to track exposure to international professional norms such as proficiency in other European languages and education abroad, were not associated with more professionalised attitudes directly, but rather were strongly predictive of the decision to work on EU topics in each ministry. Finally we found that the effects of exposure were strongest among administrators new to their ministries, although in this cross-sectional data this may be due to the time course of exposure or a cohort effect resulting from staggered EU accession times in our sample of countries. We hope to run follow up surveys to address this in the future.Early project results were presented at several conferences and in a book chapter. The main results are currently under review at a journal.