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 12: EU Committee Governance and the Multilevel Community Administration

Jarle Trondal


Jarle Trondal INTRODUCTION1 This chapter argues that an important fabric of EU administrative governance is an emerging multilevel community administration. This multilevel community administration integrates essential parts of national government institutions and important segments of the EU institutions. The study demonstrates that the domestic components of the community administration include the lower middle levels of the Member States’ ministries and agencies. At the EU-level the community administration covers the lower echelons of the Commission services, the Commission agencies, the Commission expert committees, the Council working parties, the comitology committees, and finally national civil servants seconded to the Commission for shorter periods of time.2 Together, this multilevel community administration spans levels of government and integrates executive institutions at two levels of government charged with responsibilities for policy initiation, policy decisions and policy implementation.3 This study highlights the development of a multilevel community administration within the three classes of EU committees referred to above. These committees integrate national civil servants into EU decision-making processes. They pose, however, different challenges to the decision-making behaviour, roles and loyalties among the officials attending these committee meetings. EU committees represent underused laboratories for studying what happens when contrasting decision-making dynamics meet because such committees embody civil servants from different layers of government. Arguably, EU committees embody primarily three decision making dynamics: 1. defending nation-state preferences (intergovernmentalism); 391 392 Cross-section analysis 2. providing neutral expertise (functionalism); and 3. defending the ‘common European good’ (supranationalism). This chapter poses the following question: to what extent do domestic civil...

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