The autonomy of the European Commission reassessed

Jarle Trondal

in An Emergent European Executive Order

Published in print February 2010 | ISBN: 9780199579426
Published online May 2010 | e-ISBN: 9780191722714 | DOI:
The autonomy of the European Commission reassessed

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Chapter 3 explores and reassesses the autonomy of the Commission. The ambition of this chapter is to reassess the behavioural autonomy of the Commission, as well as organizational conditions thereof. To accomplish this, Chapter 3 utilizes one under‐researched laboratory of the Commission: seconded national experts (SNEs). It is argued that SNEs may serve as a crucial test‐bed of Commission autonomy due to SNEs' ambiguous and short‐term affiliation towards the Commission. Whereas past studies claims that SNEs have a predominant intergovernmental behavioural pattern, this chapter demonstrates that the SNEs foremost blend departmental, epistemic, and supranational behavioural dynamics, thereby safeguarding their behavioural autonomy. This chapter also demonstrates that the autonomy of the Commission is organizationally contingent and not only subject to what Lipsky (1980: 19) calls actors' conspicuous desire for autonomy.

Keywords: Autonomy; European Commission; organizational approach; organizational compatibility; recruitment procedures; seconded national experts; socialization

Chapter.  5926 words. 

Subjects: Comparative Politics

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