Project

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Reputation-seeking and Capacity-building? Compliance with EU rules in Western and CEE member states across different policy areas

Applicant Schimmelfennig Frank
Number 149598
Funding scheme Project funding (Div. I-III)
Research institution Center for Comparative and International Studies (CIS) ETH Zentrum SEI
Institution of higher education ETH Zurich - ETHZ
Main discipline Political science
Start/End 01.02.2014 - 28.02.2018
Approved amount 359'774.00
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Keywords (6)

policy areas; reputation-seeking; European Union; compliance; decoupling; member states

Lay Summary (German)

Lead
Die EU verabschiedet rechtlich verbindliche Gesetze, kann sie aber nicht selbst umsetzen. Das ist Aufgabe der Mitgliedstaaten. Die EU setzt ihnen allerdings eine Frist, und die Europäische Kommission überwacht die Einhaltung des EU-Rechts. Das Ziel des Projekts ist es, die Umsetzung von EU-Recht in den Mitgliedstaaten zu vergleichen und Unterschiede zu erklären. Das Projekt unterscheidet dabei zwischen der formalen Umsetzung und der praktischen Anwendung von EU-Recht.
Lay summary

Aktuelle Daten zeigen, dass die mittel- und osteuropäischen Neumitglieder die Umsetzungsfristen besser einhalten als die Altmitglieder. Das wird damiterklärt, dass Neumitglieder bestrebt sind, ihr Ansehen zu erhöhen. Allerdingswissen wir wenig darüber, wie gut europäisches Recht in den Alt- wieNeumitgliedern tatsächlich umgesetzt und in der Praxis befolgt wird. Diesem Mangel versucht das Projekt zu begegnen. Es geht der Frage nach, ob und warum einige Staaten zwar europäische Gesetze formal umsetzen, aber nur mangelhaft anwenden. Die Forschung erstreckt sich auf vier Politikfelder: Binnenmarkt, Umwelt, Asyl- und Einwanderungspolitik sowie Sozial- und Beschäftigungspolitik.Für diese Politikfelder werden Daten über alle Mitgliedstaaten gesammelt und ausgewertet.

Das Projekt wird das wissenschaftliche Verständnis der Erfolgsbedingungen europäischer Integration – und generell der Wirkungen und Konsequenzen internationaler Vereinbarungen in den beteiligten Staaten – verbessern. Es liefert Erkenntnisse über die Qualität staatlicher politischer und administrativer Institutionen. Der Fokus auf die vergleichende Analyse praktischer Rechtsanwendung ergänzt die bisher auf die formale Umsetzung konzentrierte Forschung über „Europäisierung“.

Direct link to Lay Summary Last update: 01.10.2013

Responsible applicant and co-applicants

Employees

Publications

Publication
Swift, brokered and broad-based information exchange: how network structure facilitates stakeholders monitoring EU policy implementation
Schrama Reini (2019), Swift, brokered and broad-based information exchange: how network structure facilitates stakeholders monitoring EU policy implementation, in Journal of Public Policy, 39(4), 565-585.
The Monitoring Capacity of Civil Society Networks: A Social Network Analysis in the Case of Gender Equality Policy
Schrama Reini (2019), The Monitoring Capacity of Civil Society Networks: A Social Network Analysis in the Case of Gender Equality Policy, in Journal of Civil Society, 15(2), 123-142.
Providing information and building capacity: interest group involvement in the application of EU law
Kaya Cansarp (2018), Providing information and building capacity: interest group involvement in the application of EU law, in West European Politics, 42(1), 25-44.
When Practice Goes beyond Legislators' Expectations: Analysis of Practical Implementation Exceeding Legal Compliance with EU DirectivesWhen practice goes beyond Legislators' expectations
Zhelyazkova Asya, Kaya Cansarp, Schrama Reini (2018), When Practice Goes beyond Legislators' Expectations: Analysis of Practical Implementation Exceeding Legal Compliance with EU DirectivesWhen practice goes beyond Legislators' expectations, in JCMS: Journal of Common Market Studies, 56(3), 520-538.
‘You can’t have one without the other’: the differential impact of civil society strength on the implementation of EU policy
Schrama Reini, Zhelyazkova Asya (2018), ‘You can’t have one without the other’: the differential impact of civil society strength on the implementation of EU policy, in Journal of European Public Policy, 25(7), 1029-1048.
Notified and substantive compliance with EU law in enlarged Europe: evidence from four policy areas
Zhelyazkova Asya, Kaya Cansarp, Schrama Reini (2017), Notified and substantive compliance with EU law in enlarged Europe: evidence from four policy areas, in JOURNAL OF EUROPEAN PUBLIC POLICY, 24(2), 216-238.
The impact of interest group diversity on legal implementation in the European Union
Kaya Cansarp (2017), The impact of interest group diversity on legal implementation in the European Union, in Journal of European Public Policy, 25(4), 567-585.
Decoupling practical and legal compliance: Analysis of member states' implementation of EU policy
Zhelyazkova Asya, Kaya Cansarp, Schrama Reini (2016), Decoupling practical and legal compliance: Analysis of member states' implementation of EU policy, in EUROPEAN JOURNAL OF POLITICAL RESEARCH, 55(4), 827-846.

Scientific events

Active participation

Title Type of contribution Title of article or contribution Date Place Persons involved
ECPR General Conference Talk given at a conference Presentation of the completed project data-set on different aspects of EU policy implementation 08.09.2017 Oslo, Norway Zhelyazkova Asya;
International Conference: Policy Implementation Reloaded Talk given at a conference Presentation of the completed project data-set on different aspects of EU policy implementation 06.07.2017 Munster, Germany Zhelyazkova Asya;
EPSA Annual General Conference Talk given at a conference In transition to substantive compliance: analysing variation across compliance outcomes in four EU policy areas 19.06.2016 Edinburgh, Great Britain and Northern Ireland Schrama Reini;
FP7 MAXCAP final conference Talk given at a conference Notified and substantive compliance with EU law in enlarged Europe: evidence from four policy areas 23.01.2016 Leiden, Netherlands Zhelyazkova Asya;
ECSA Suisse Annual Conference Talk given at a conference Notified and substantive compliance with EU law in enlarged Europe: evidence from four policy areas 11.12.2015 Zurich, Switzerland Zhelyazkova Asya; Schrama Reini; Kaya Cansarp;
EUP Colloquium ETH Zürich Individual talk Deviating from the norm; analysing the relation between legal and practical implementation of EU policy 13.10.2015 Zurich, Switzerland Kaya Cansarp; Schrama Reini;
ECPR General Conference Talk given at a conference Notified and substantive compliance with EU law in enlarged Europe: evidence from four policy areas (preliminary findings) 29.08.2015 Montreal, Canada Zhelyazkova Asya;
EGPA Annual Conference of the European Group for Public Administration Talk given at a conference Deviating from the norm; analysing the relation between legal and practical implementation of EU policy 29.08.2015 Toulouse, France Kaya Cansarp;
ICPP International Conference on Public Policy Talk given at a conference Deviating from the norm; analysing the relation between legal and practical implementation of EU policy 02.07.2015 Milan, Italy Zhelyazkova Asya; Schrama Reini;
APSA Annual Meeting Talk given at a conference In transition to substantive compliance: analysing variation across compliance outcomes in four EU policy areas 29.08.2014 Washington DC, United States of America Zhelyazkova Asya;
SGEU Pan-European Conference on EU Politics Talk given at a conference In transition to substantive compliance: analysing variation across compliance outcomes in four EU policy areas 07.06.2014 The Hague, Netherlands Zhelyazkova Asya; Schrama Reini; Kaya Cansarp;
EUROPAL seminar Radboud University Nijmegen Individual talk Notified and substantive compliance with EU law in enlarged Europe 20.05.2014 Nijmegen, Netherlands Zhelyazkova Asya;
ECPR Joint Sessions Talk given at a conference Decoupling Superficial from Substantive Compliance in the Enlarged EU? Evidence from Two Policy Areas 10.04.2014 Salamanca, Spain Kaya Cansarp; Zhelyazkova Asya;


Abstract

Research on member states’ implementation of EU legislation into national settings is abundant, but has mostly focused on the old 15 member states. Recent studies of the implementation performance of the new EU entrants from Central and Eastern Europe (CEE) have uncovered a puzzling finding. In contrast to predictions of increased non-compliance by CEE countries after their accession to the EU, these member states appear to be the forerunners in the legal incorporation of EU directives into national law (Knill and Tosun, 2009; Sedelmeier, 2008). It is generally argued that recent entrants are more eager to demonstrate their status as legitimate members of the EU by notifying the EU Commission national measures on time (Bengtsson et al., 2004; Perkins and Neumayer, 2007; Sedelmeier, 2008). However, there is little understanding whether national legislators and implementers in both Western and CEE countries actually meet the European standards in a correct and appropriate manner. Thus, the hypothesis that CEE countries excel in the legal incorporation (also known as transposition) is yet to undergo systematic empirical scrutiny. In addition, provided that we find evidence for the alleged discrepancy between timely notification and actual compliance with EU policies, there is little understanding of what factors explain variation in different forms of compliance. In particular, there is lack of theory regarding the mechanisms driving differences in the behavior of both CEE and Western member states during transposition and practical implementation. While it is assumed that CEE member states are likely to gain reputational benefits from fully transferring the EU legislative outputs into national law, it is not clear what factors affect the reputational incentives of the post-communist CEE countries in particular, but not their Western counterparts and why. Furthermore, it is still an unanswered question whether the presumed differences between CEE and Western countries are specific to timely notification and what patterns explain member states’ correct transposition and practical implementation. Addressing these gaps in knowledge involves posing both descriptive and explanatory research questions.Descriptive questions: Do we observe systematic variation in compliance (a) between different EU member states, (b) between different forms of compliance such as timely notification, correct transposition and practical implementation?Explanatory questions: What factors account for variation in compliance across (a) EU member states and (b) different forms of compliance? For example, do the same mechanisms that explain variation in old member states also influence the new CEE members or patterns in the latter group are explained by a different set of factors? How can we explain why some member states may notify timely measures that do not correctly meet the EU standards?To address such questions, the proposed project aims to analyse a comprehensive data set on both notification and actual implementation of EU rules by 25 member states (15 Western member states + 10 CEE countries) regarding directives from four policy areas: Internal Market and Services (1 PhD project), Environment (1 PhD project), Social Policy (employment and anti-discrimination) and Justice and Home Affairs. We will engage in coding expert evaluation reports and tables of correspondence (TOCs) regarding the transposition and practical implementation. Two separate PhD projects will study compliance with internal market and services directives and environment policy combining both quantitative and qualitative analyses.
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