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German Research Institute for Public Administration

Assertiveness of National Administrations in formal and informal Arenas in the EU

National administrations are embedded in very different ways in decision making the European Administrative Space, inter alia via informal networks, formal agencies, committees and commissions. New ways or "channels" of influence on policy-making are the consequence, as these structures play a pivotal role in shaping European policies. Hence, these structures can be seen as a new kind of formal or informal governance - being mostly trans-governmental in nature, they are influenced by national interest, but also induce backlashes on the Member States' level.
Accordingly, being involved in these structures is of pivotal relevance for the single Member States to increase their own scope for implementing EU law, and to influence law setting on the EU level. Nonetheless, different factors on the Member States' level influence their qualitative and quantitative capabilities of being involved in these formal and informal structures, inter alia personal and resource endowment, path dependencies and differences in awareness regarding the own influence within these structures.

In detail, the research project, using qualitative as well as quantitative approaches, tackles the following questions. While overall we follow a comparative approach, the focus of the project when it comes to policy recommendations based on our research is the German administration (Bund/single federal states).
  • What constitutes the structural composition of these arenas and what do different informal and formal arenas in various policy areas have in common?
  • In how far are national administrations aware of their role in these formal and informal arenas? 
  • Which resources and instruments are used to influence decision making in these arenas, which patterns do exist?

Senior Fellow

Prof. Dr. Rahel Schomaker