Assertiveness of member state administrations

in formal and informal European negotiation arenas and in the European Administrative Network: prerequisites, opportunities, strategies
Research field 4

The role of the member states in European integration is not limited to the implementation of Union law requirements imposed upon them[ym1] . There are numerous formal and informal opportunities for national political institutions and administrations to influence the configuration and formulation of Union law legal acts and (administrative) policies with the goal of adjusting them to national preferences and bringing in national expertise. These opportunities go beyond the role of the national heads of government and government members in the European Council (Art. 15 TEU) and Council of Ministers (Art. 16 TEU) and of the national parliaments according to Art. 12 TEU.

This also applies above all to national specialist authorities, which are often integrated in Union regulatory and administrative structures in the form of networks, committees and agencies. This integration can be of a formal or informal nature. It may involve loose networks of authorities or an "integrated administration" based on specific secondary legal acts. These structures play a central role in the preparation of legal acts (such as those according to Art. 290 TFEU in combination with the communication COM[2009] 673 and Art. 291 (2) to (4) TFEU in combination with Regulation [EU] No. 182/2011), but also in interpretation advice, guidelines and implementation strategies. They can be directed towards the formulation of Union policies or towards their implementation by the member states. No distinct separating line can be drawn in this regard in the case of administrative networks.
Such regulatory and administrative structures represent an increasingly frequent expression of formal or informal governance, which affect crucial fields of national interests and are often more trans-governmental in structure. This also results in considerable repercussions at the national level. However, heterogeneities – such as different resource endowment - result in practice in that various member states are being involved to a greater degree than others, so that they are able to exercise a correspondingly greater influence. Domestic differences between national central governments and regional and local administrative entities or between national policy and (independent) national specialist authorities regarding the interests to be enforced can likewise weaken the assertiveness of a member state in these formal and informal negotiation arenas.

In this respect, the research desiderata identify the structural composition of these arenas, especially informal cooperation structures and analyse the structural patterns and standard processes that determine the assertiveness of national administrations in these individual formal and informal arenas. Furthermore, the extent to which the member states or their specialist authorities are aware of these potential influences and why some of them exploit them more than others needs to be investigated, i.e. the nature of the perception of leeway for national commitments. As a result, the research of the programme on "Assertiveness of member state administrations in formal and informal European administrative arenas: prerequisites, opportunities, strategies" deals with the question of how and to what extent national political institutions and administrations cooperate and/or could cooperate through the executive bodies, institutions and authorities of the Union and through the European administrative networks in configuring Union (administrative) policies.


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Demper, Maximilian, Kooperationsstrukturen und Kooperationsvereinbarungen zwischen der EU und den Mitgliedstaaten im Rahmen gemischter Abkommen, Dissertationsschrift, Baden-Baden, 2018 (zug. Diss. Speyer 2017)

Tauschinsky, Eljalill/Weiß, Wolfgang (Hrsg.), The Legislative Choice between Delegated and Implementing Acts in EU law: Walking a Labyrinth, Cheltenham: Edwar Elgar 2018

Tauschinsky, Eljalill, Searching for Order. Exploring the use of delegated and implementing acts in the EU customs code, in: Theory and Practice of Legislation 1/2018, S. 53 – 73

Tauschinsky, Eljalill, Managing Choice: a close look at the differentiation of delegated and implementing acts, in: ZEuS 2018, S. 305 – 328

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Prof. Dr. Rahel M. Schomaker


Prof. Dr. Wolfgang Weiß