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