Policy Implementation in a Multi‐Level System: The Dynamics of Domestic Response

Jochen Lang

in Linking EU and National Governance

Published in print October 2003 | ISBN: 9780199252268
Published online April 2004 | e-ISBN: 9780191601040 | DOI:
 Policy Implementation in a Multi‐Level System: The Dynamics of Domestic Response

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The EU structural funds are characterized by an elaborate policy model, which member states are asked to follow exactly corresponding to its regulations and intentions. Chapter 8 argues that whether this policy model can be implemented effectively or not is, nevertheless, at the discretion of national actors and that their responses do not just depend on the current ‘goodness of fit’ but on compatibility with domestic policy paths. An empirical reconstruction of implementation processes in Germany, Ireland and Sweden shows that, if the structural funds’ policy model is incompatible with the established domestic policy instruments, the member state actors can successfully isolate the implementation of the European policy model. On a medium- or long-term basis, the effective implementation of the European structural funds will be made possible by an endogenous paradigmatic change of domestic policy. If, however, domestic policy remains stable, the isolation of the European policy model will be consolidated and become symbolic change.

Keywords: compatibility; domestic policy; implementation; isolation; member states; paradigmatic change; structural funds; symbolic change

Chapter.  8221 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Politics

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