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 3: Policy Implementation

Herwig C.H. Hofmann and Alexander H. Türk


Herwig C.H. Hofmann and Alexander H. Türk EXPLAINING IMPLEMENTATION – THE INTERNAL AND THE EXTERNAL POINT OF VIEW The previous chapters have shown that administrative activity through networks of EU and national administration takes place within the area of agenda setting and policy formulation. This chapter focuses on structural and institutional features of administrative activity implementing EU legislation.1 EU administrative governance in the policy phase of implementation forms an essential part of the exercise of public power in the EU. A wide variety of activities pursued by the institutions qualify as implementation – they range from single case decisions and preparatory acts thereof on one end of the spectrum to the amendment of basic acts at the other end. Implementing measures can be divided into various categories:2 rule interpretation,3 rule application,4 rule-setting/rule-evaluation,5 approval of funds6, the extension/new specification of funding programmes7 and information management8. It is therefore not surprising that policy implementation covers a wide range of activities and deals with important policy issues that go beyond the merely technical regulation of the internal market. Policy implementation at EU level plays a prominent role in EU administrative governance despite the fact that since its very beginnings the E(E)C and later also the EU have been based on what has come to be referred to as ‘executive federalism’9. Generally, Member States apply and enforce policies and law adopted at European level. Only in certain limited fields is the enforcement of European law directly entrusted to...

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