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Condominio Europe? Patterns, dynamics and limits of differentiated integration in the wider European administrative space

English title Condominio Europe? Patterns, dynamics and limits of differentiated integration in the wider European administrative space
Applicant Lavenex Sandra
Number 204548
Funding scheme Project funding
Research institution University of Geneva
Institution of higher education University of Geneva - GE
Main discipline Political science
Start/End 01.04.2022 - 31.03.2026
Approved amount 532'707.00
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Keywords (6)

Differentiated integration; European Union; Decentralised agencies and networks; Transgovernmentalism; Regulation; Third countries

Lay Summary (German)

Lead
Die europäische Integration steht vor der Herausforderung, flexible Anbindungsformen für solche Staaten zu ermöglichen, welche auf absehbare Zeit nicht volle Mitglieder der EU sein können oder wollen.
Lay summary

Während die zentralen Entscheidungsorgane der EU – die Kommission, das Parlament und der Ministerrat – eine Teilnahme von Drittstaaten weitgehend ausschliessen, eröffnen sich in den administrativen Strukturen des europäischen Mehrebenensystems vielfältige Möglichkeiten der Zusammenarbeit. Eine zentrale Rolle kommt dabei europäischen Agenturen und Behördennetzwerken zu, welche in nahezu allen Bereichen europäischer Politik – von der Luftfahrt- und Energiesicherheit zum Konsumenten-, Grenz- oder Umweltschutz - an der Entwicklung und Umsetzung europäischen Rechts mitwirken.

Als Drehscheiben der Zusammenarbeit zwischen zuständigen nationalen Behörden und Adressaten für private Akteure wie unabhängige Sachverständige und Interessengruppen unterhalten diese Gremien vielfältige Beziehungen zu Gegenspielern in Drittstaaten und internationalen Organisationen. Das Projekt untersucht, inwieweit und unter welchen Bedingungen Vertreter aus Drittstaaten in diesen administrativen Raum der EU integriert werden und wie sich diese technokratische Ebene der Integration zu übergeordneten politischen Beziehungen mit der EU sowie zu normativen Prinzipien demokratischen Regierens verhält.

Insgesamt leistet dieses Projekt einen Beitrag zu den akademischen und politischen Debatten über den Stand und die Zukunft der (differenzierten) europäischen Integration durch das Prisma einer "condominio": eine funktionalistische Form der Integration, welche den Akzent auf die horizontale Koordination nationaler Politiken in dezentralen, Politikfeld spezifischen Institutionen legt.

Direct link to Lay Summary Last update: 08.04.2022

Responsible applicant and co-applicants

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Abstract

Centrifugal dynamics within the European Union (EU) and the unresolved challenge of how to design association below the threshold of EU membership have reinvigorated the interest in differentiated European integration. Important work has focused on differentiation at the constitutional level in EU and association treaties, in EU secondary legislation and individual policy areas, and on the intergovernmental dynamics of negotiating differentiation. Much less attention has been paid to the organizational dimension of countries' differentiated participation in EU secondary bodies and in particular integration in the EU's emerging administrative space. The EU's administrative space constitutes a transgovernmental layer of integration among national public authorities which operates with a certain degree of independence from both supranational (Commission, Parliament, Council) and domestic governments. It is composed of a proliferating number of sector-specific regulatory agencies and networks operating as hubs of competent national authorities in nearly every area of EU policy. Next to public authorities participation by private actors such as independent experts and stakeholders is a frequent phenomenon. In so-far as these agencies and networks contribute to the formulation and implementation of EU rules and practices they form a constitutive pillar of the EU architecture whose contribution to differentiated integration is yet to be explored. This project investigates to what extent and under which conditions third country regulators as well as independent experts and stakeholders become integrated in the EU's administrative space, and how this technocratic layer of integration relates to overarching political relations with the EU as well as normative principles of democratic governance.The project consists of four work packages (WP). WP1 develops the theoretical framework and conceptualises "condominio" as differentiated integration in regulatory networks and agencies in Europe. WP2 measures the scope and depth of third country (public and private) integration in EU agencies and networks de jure and de facto on the basis of an original database compiled via documentary analysis, an elite survey, expert interviews and a network analysis. WP3 examines the drivers behind this differentiated integration through a qualitative comparative analysis testing hypotheses derived from functionalist interdependence; EU and national foreign policy considerations; institutional factors; and sectoral properties such as politicization. WP4 assesses this technocratic layer of integration in the context of third countries' overarching political relations with the EU. More specifically, and drawing on the original database established in WP2, it examines how these arrangements play out in terms of democratic principles of accountability, participation and transparency. In sum, this project contributes to academic and political debates on the state and future of (differentiated) European integration through the prism of a "condominio": a functionalist mode of integration in which "instead of a Eurocracy accumulating organizationally distinct but politically coordinated tasks around a single center, there could be multiple regional institutions acting autonomously to solve common problems and produce different public goods" (Schmitter 1996: 136).
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