The Rise of Common Political Order
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The Rise of Common Political Order

Institutions, Public Administration and Transnational Space

Edited by Jarle Trondal

The Rise of Common Political Order brings together leading research focusing on the conditions for the formation of common political order in Europe. The book aims to define common political order in conceptual terms, to study instances of order formation at different levels of governance and ultimately to comprehend how they profoundly challenge inherent political orders.
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Chapter 8: Priority Area Coordinators and Horizontal Action Leaders in the EU Strategy for the Baltic Sea Region: trans-governmental networks and order formation in EU territorial cooperation

Stefan Gänzle


Chapter 8 seeks to unpack the internal fabric of the EU macro-regional governance architecture by zooming into the system of Priority Area Coordinators (PACs) and Horizontal Action Leaders (HALs) analyzed against the backdrop of the EU Strategy for the Baltic Sea Region (EUSBSR). The primary task of PACs and HALs is to involve relevant stakeholders across different policy sectors and levels of governance in the implementation of a macro-regional strategy. This contribution unpacks the internal dynamic of the core of the EUSBSR governance architecture by mapping the role, main tasks and patterns of inter-organizational contacts as well as the self-perception of PACs and HALs in the EUSBSR. Building on data provided by a survey as well as a number of interviews conducted with PACs and HALs, the article explores the first generation of PACs and HALs. One of the key findings suggests that, first, PACs and HALs constitute a new trans-governmental policy network between participating countries and, second, they help the European Commission extend its reach into the bureaucracies of participating countries, EU members and partner states alike.

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