New Directions in the Effective Enforcement of EU Law and Policy
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New Directions in the Effective Enforcement of EU Law and Policy

Edited by Sara Drake and Melanie Smith

The EU is faced with the perpetual challenge of guaranteeing effective enforcement of its law and policies. This book brings together leading EU legal and regulatory scholars and political scientists to explore the wealth of new legal and regulatory practices, strategies and actors that are emerging to complement the classic avenues of central and decentralized enforcement.
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Chapter 4: The virtues of interdependence and informality: an analysis of the role of transnational networks in the implementation of EU directives

Josine Polak and Esther Versluis


Networked cooperation has come to be seen as an important governance instrument for improving implementation of international law. The current study presents new empirical evidence on the functioning of networks in the implementation of EU directives on product safety, air safety, and pollution prevention. Based on 28 interviews with participants of networks, this study illustrates that, while interdependence may motivate cooperation, the perception of a network as informal is the determining factor for it to be perceived to add benefit. Informality opens up opportunities for mutual learning to occur, mutual trust to flourish, and resource sharing and conflict resolution to take place.

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