EU Administrative Governance
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EU Administrative Governance

Edited by Herwig C.H. Hofmann and Alexander H. Türk

This book is a unique contribution to the understanding of the reality of government and governance in the European Union (EU).
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Chapter 2: The Involvement of Administrative Players in the EU Decision Making Process

Christine Neuhold and Elissaveta Radulova


Christine Neuhold and Elissaveta Radulova INTRODUCTION This contribution sets out to examine the role of administrative players in the EU decision-making process; that is it studies how the main institutions and their respective administrative corps shape the EU regulative procedures, and how they interact in the process of arriving at collectively binding decisions. As regards a definition of decision-making we would like to build on Howlett and Ramesh (2003), who define it as ‘a stage in the policy process, from which emerges some formal or informal statement of intent on the part of authorised public actors to undertake, or refrain from undertaking, some action’.1 (Figure 2.1). It goes almost without saying that this chapter will thus not exclusively focus on ‘Brussels Bureaucrats’,2 that is civil servants working within the EU institutions, but on the complex interaction between civil servants from both the national administrations of the Member States and the European institutions. It would go beyond the scope of this chapter to focus on the decision-making procedures in detail and this has also been done elsewhere.3 In fact we want to illustrate the role of administrators within the formulation of European policies. The overall question guiding this research thus boils down to the following: ‘what is the involvement of, and interaction between, the administrative players within the EU decision-making process’? Before this background we will focus on the following administrative players and fora: • Council Working groups in their function of ‘preparing the work’ of the (still) main...

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