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Abstract, Paper Heidbreder: The Federal Core of EU Multilevel Administration
Federalism has been and remains to be a controversial concept for the European
Union (EU) in theoretical and very practical ways. Two camps dominate the theoretical
debate. One side argues for an open finalité of the EU’s polity development.
Accordingly, the EU constitutes a special form of a multilevel polity that is no fullfledged
state, but qualifies as a federal system that can be fruitfully compared to other
federal orders. The other camp holds that falling short of an actual state-order, the EU
cannot overcome legitimacy problems and thus takes a teleological stand that the EU
ought to become a federal state. This unresolved theoretical debate is mirrored in
public perceptions. While one side fears that the EU is a project designed to lead to
an unwanted federal state and another argues that it is the only viable way for the EU
to become a full-fledged federal state, a third camp perceives of the EU as a new,
post-state order with federal features that evolves step-by-step according to
functional needs for more cooperation (for a detailed review Heidbreder, 2022). This
chapter defines the EU as federal polity – but not a federal state – as a starting point
to explore how this perspective helps to systematically understand the EU’s complex
EU battery policy-making and the rift between executive contraction and executive detraction in the European Commission
Terese BIRKELAND1, Jarle Trondal1,2
1University of Agder, Norway; 2University of Oslo, ARENA Centre for European Studies
Providing policy solutions to solve across border societal challenges in Europe, such as electrifying the transport sector by facilitating for a European battery industry, call for increased coordination among policy-makers. This article offers a novel study of the formulation of the European Commission’s (Commission’s) battery regulation proposal. In doing so, the paper makes two distinct contributions to extant literature: Theoretically, it outlines two conceptual models – that of the Commission as a contracted and a detracted executive institution - and offers an institutional-organizational approach to account for conditions under which each of these models are likely to unfold. Empirically, the paper offers a case study of the process of drafting the Commission’s battery regulation proposal. Benefiting from semi-structured interviews, the study reveals patterns of executive contraction and detraction in the Commission. Whereas extant literature picture the Commission as an increasingly centralized and contracted executive institution, this paper finds that executive contraction and detraction tend to co-evolve and co-exist.
Counter-Contestation in Global Health Governance: The WHO and its Member States in Emergency Settings
IU International University of Applied Sciences, Germany
Is the contestation of international institutions always a one-sided process that originates from nation-states? In research to date, there has been little discussion of the extent to which international institutions endure, or even form counter-reactions to national contestation strategies. This study examines the reasons for which WHO engages in counter-contestation vis-à-vis its Member States.
The paper analyzes the evolution of global health governance by relating a principal-agent approach and contestation considerations. The WHO (agent) wants to reshape the principal-agent relationship with the member states (principals) in order to maximize its autonomy and eventually ensure stronger independence. The WHO pursues its efforts to become more independent on the basis of its own logic of action: To achieve this autonomy from member states, WHO on the one hand uses a strategy we call counter-contestation. On the other hand the member states want their interests to be represented by the WHO and ensure this goal through the logic of action known as contestation. Three international health crises are used to show how different the logics of action are and what effects they have. This study explores how and to what extent WHO actively engages in the political exchange of diplomatic moves and manoeuvres, creating contestation as a mutual game between states and International Organizations.
An omelet with no eggs: the governance model of PT2020
Sofia LAI AMÂNDIO
ISCTE CIES-IUL, Portugal
The Cohesion Policy has the strictest evaluation regulation of the last 30 years (Amândio, 2022a; 2022b). This paper focuses on a turning point in the evaluation policy of the cohesion funds after 2014, when several historical events occurred: an economic crisis, a pandemic, and a war. Growing European Commission pressures to reduce the resources assigned and financial conditionalities characterize this period.
The central question in this research asks why the evaluation culture institutionalized throughout three decades has frail outcomes. Portugal shows a delay in the execution of the evaluation plan.
The methodological approach taken in this study is a mixed methodology based on documentary analysis and qualitative research. The aim was to compare legal-institutional rules with the perceptions of workers on the evaluation system.
Results point to legal, administrative, epistemological, institutional, and policy innovations in 2014-2022. However, the design and operationalization of the governance model and a shortage of human resources competencies help us understand a delay in the execution of the evaluation plan of the structural and investment funds.
The new European Commission evaluation politics – focused on results, theories based on method, and financial sanctions – arrives as a poisoned chalice that seems to hinder the implementation of the domestic evaluation system. Despite improvements, the evaluation culture is still undeveloped.