The quest for order: unravelling the relationship between the European Commission and European Union agencies

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Series Details Vol.22, No.5, May 2015, p609-629
Publication Date May 2015
ISSN 1350-1763
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Over the past couple of decades a considerable number of European Union (EU) agencies have been established. Research has so far shown that they have become more than mere facilitators of transnational regulatory networks, arenas for the exchange of information on ‘best practice', and vehicles for member state governments. Task expansion has taken place, e.g., by taking up (quasi-) regulatory tasks. However, the jury is still out regarding exactly where in the political-administrative landscape EU agencies are situated. Benefiting from novel data sources, this study sheds light on so far undocumented relationships between EU agencies and the European Commission. The study shows that EU agencies have become integral components in the policy-making and implementation activities of Commission departments. Secondly, this development is accounted for by an organizational approach that specifies a set of organizational factors. The study argues that such tight relationships between Commission departments and EU agencies signify a centralization of EU executive power.

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