'Smoothing' Eastern Enlargements: Independent Regulatory Agencies and Non-Hierarchical Steering
|Research director:||Dr. Charalampos Koutalakis|
|Funding:||6th Framework Programme of the European Union - EU-NEWGOV|
The project examines the role of independent regulatory agencies (IRAs) and non-hierarchical steering in the process of adopting and adapting to EU policies in Central Eastern (Poland, Hungary) and Southern European member states (Greece). It is part of the EU-Integrated Project "New Modes of Governance" funded under the 6th Framework Programme for Research and Technological Development of the European Commission. The aim of the project is to evaluate the extent to which new forms of governance with the systematic inclusion of non-state actors in non-hierarchical modes of decision making are able to render accession "smoother" by reducing the risk of implementation-conflicts in "weak" countries during the pre-accession phase and after accession. It analyses the cases of pharmaceuticals and environmental harmonization as examples of positive and negative integration where IRAs owe varying degrees of decision-making power (i.e., information or regulation). By explicitly focusing on questions of effective policy implementation in so-called "weak" states during different phases of accession, our research seeks to identify the domestic scope conditions such as a minimum of political and administrative resources (shadow of hierarchy) and systems of interest intermediation (civil society, corporatist business-government relations), under which new modes of governance emerge and serve as effective mechanisms of conflict resolution with regard to legal and policy harmonization in new member states.