Strategies in Multilevel Policy Implementation: Moving Beyond the Limited Focus on Compliance

11.11.2019 - 12:00 to 13:30
Location : 
A 5,6 Raum A 231
Type of Event : 
AB B-Kolloquium
Prof. Eva Heidbreder
Lecturer affiliation: 
Otto-von-Guericke-Universität Magdeburg

The European Union (EU) has been shattered by a number of deep-cutting crises in the past decade, which have amongst other increased the attention paid to administrative
capacities in the EU’s multilevel polity. In particular the economic crisis has highlighted the relevance of hands-on capacities. On the one hand, in the debate about the admission
procedure to the Euro-zone, attention has increasingly moved to member state capacities, concretely the capability to deliver reliable data on state and economic performance. On the other hand, the capacity to tackle the negative effects of the various crises – be it the economic or migration crisis – highlighted the malfunctioning of (sub)state administrations. In addition, the effectiveness of the EU convergence policy has been disputed and the economic crisis unveiled also that those states that should most profit from EU funds oftentimes lack the needed administrative capabilities to indeed retrieve these funds. To enhance the member states’ capacity to make use of EU convergence support, the Commission has developed various, yet very uncoordinated tools. Furthermore, the Commission has started to create a more systematic organisational structure in order to bundle a multitude of ad hoc and incrementally developed tools to support administrative cooperation. In sum, ten years of perceived European Union crises have put the spotlight in particular on member state administrative capacities. Against this background, the paper offers an overview of the conceptualisation of EU multilevel administration, a historical overview of the EU’s administrative system and its central reforms that focus increasingly on capacities, and a summary of the academic state of the art in the research of European multilevel administration. The concluding section offers an outlook on future research and practice and pinpoints administrative capacities as crucial focal point to overcome administrative failures the crises have brought to the fore.