Chapter 40: Regulatory Governance in the European Union: The Political Struggle Over Committees, Agencies and Networks
Martijn Groenleer Until recently, little attention has been paid to bureaucratic and administrative actors at the European Union (EU) level and the way these actors are involved in the actual implementation of policy and legislation. At the same time, “non-legislation has moved much more to the centre stage in terms of the actual overall output of the EU” (Curtin 2009: 3). The promulgation of EU rules, for instance those aimed at preventing misconduct by businesses and addressing risks following from economic activity, has increased significantly in the past decades. Today, a considerable number of rules applied in the EU, including those on food and drug safety, occupational health risks, aviation and maritime safety and environmental pollution, have been produced through executive rather than legislative action. In recent years, in reaction to the threat of international terrorism and shortages in energy supply and in response to the global financial crisis, the capacity available at the EU level to enforce European legislation in such diverse areas as justice and home affairs, energy and, notably, financial services has grown substantially. This chapter concentrates on regulatory governance in the European Union and the increasingly important role played by bureaucratic and administrative actors at the EU level. It argues that EU regulatory governance entails the strategic interaction of a wide variety of actors across multiple levels. The existing literature usually considers EU regulatory governance as a purely “legalistic” process, with key roles for the European Commission and the European Court of Justice, or as a...
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