Who governs the European Union? How are powers and competences to implement EU policies distributed among its components, and what determines that? Throughout this dissertation I aim to address these questions by providing four specific contributions to the academic debate about EU executive governance. First, I extend our knowledge of delegation dynamics in the EU to the whole post-Maastricht period. I analyse competing factors affecting the distribution of executive competences between national administrations and the European Commission. Second, I account for the reliance by the legislator on EU decentralised agencies in secondary legislation for implementation purposes. Third, I analyse and account for the evolution of EU agencies’ mandates and budget from the Maastricht treaty onward. And fourth, I look at the implementation of a specific policy item in the field of food safety regulation in order to investigate how the European Commission and EU agencies use their powers and tasks to shape policy outputs. The underlying goal linking the chapters throughout the thesis is, in sum, to grasp process of delegation to – and the empowerment of – supranational bodies in the EU multi-level administration. The thesis is structured as follows: in Part I, I address the determinants of delegation to executive actors in the EU. After presenting a newly collected dataset of relevant EU legislation in Chapter 2, throughout Chapter 3 I test well-established hypotheses grounded in the delegation literature. I consider policy-specific features – mainly policy complexity– the distribution of preferences of the main decision makers– Council, European Parliament and the Commission– in the legislative process and the decisions rule as explanatory factors for the incentives of decision makers to grant executive leeway to the main supranational institution, the European Commission, and to national administrations. Compared to previous studies, I extend the observation of this phenomenon to the whole post-Maastricht period and show how executive discretion is distributed among salient legislative acts covering the period between 1985 (the Single European Act) and nowadays. My findings, obtained through linear regression models, show that decision rules and conflict along integration lines are the main explanatory factors behind the granting of executive discretion to the European Commission. Moreover, my results suggest that the involvement of the European Parliament through co-decision has resulted into lower discretion granted to the European Commission. Given that the creation and use of specific executive bodies– such as EU agencies and regulatory networks– are actions concerted between the EU legislators and a bureaucratic actor, the Commission, in Chapter 4 I employ both delegation theory and theory of bureaucratic behaviour in order to account for the reliance on EU agencies by the legislator in the same dataset of major secondary laws. By means of logistic regression analyses I demonstrate that the more complex a policy issue is, the higher the probability to rely on an agency in policy implementation. Moreover, I identify a curvilinear relationship between the powers accumulated by the Commission overtime and the likelihood of agency use in EU secondary laws. This finding points to the fact that reliance of agencies goes together with the empowerment of the Commission, so long as this latter is not highly powerful. In Part II of the thesis I move from executive delegation in legislation to the consequences of delegation through two different chapters. In Chapter 5 I first describe and then analyse the growth of the EU agency system by assessing the determinants of the variation in the allocation of EU agencies’ budget. In particular, after an assessment of agencies reforms and developments since the early 1990’s, I investigate whether the observed reforms have led to a significant empowerment of those agencies in budgetary terms. To do so, I employ theories of budgeting (incrementalism and punctuated equilibrium theories) and legislative- bureaucratic relationships. I build an original dataset tracing the developments in tasks and budget of all EU agencies overtime from 1992 to 2016. It tests my hypotheses by means of a cross-sectional time-series analysis, revealing that trends in agencies budgetary allocation are explained by (i) crisis response, including the financial crisis and the Schengen borders crisis; (ii) by the reforms agencies have gone through overtime (iii) the typology of agency. Finally, in Chapter 6 I look at the configuration of actors that, together, shape EU policy outputs. Given the growth of the agency system and the alleged reliance of the Commission on these bodies, through this last chapter I seek to grasp the concerted role of Commission and EU agencies in producing policy outcomes in politicised situations. I build a theoretical framework by drawing different configuration of the Commission’s preferences of in comitology decision making vis-à-vis national governments, stakeholders, agencies and public opinion. I test my theoretical propositions through theory-testing process tracing, focused on the Glyphosate’s license renewal (2015-2017). I find that under strong political pressures the Commission engages in blame-shifting strategies and tries to avoid the burden of taking unpopular policies, while following agencies’ expertise becomes less of a priority.

CAUSES AND CONSEQUENCES OF DELEGATION IN POST-MAASTRICHT EUROPEAN UNION / M. Migliorati ; supervisor: F. Franchino ; phd director: M. Jessoula. - : . Università degli Studi di Milano, 2019 Apr 08. ((31. ciclo, Anno Accademico 2018. [10.13130/migliorati-marta_phd2019-04-08].

CAUSES AND CONSEQUENCES OF DELEGATION IN POST-MAASTRICHT EUROPEAN UNION

M. Migliorati
2019-04-08

Abstract

Who governs the European Union? How are powers and competences to implement EU policies distributed among its components, and what determines that? Throughout this dissertation I aim to address these questions by providing four specific contributions to the academic debate about EU executive governance. First, I extend our knowledge of delegation dynamics in the EU to the whole post-Maastricht period. I analyse competing factors affecting the distribution of executive competences between national administrations and the European Commission. Second, I account for the reliance by the legislator on EU decentralised agencies in secondary legislation for implementation purposes. Third, I analyse and account for the evolution of EU agencies’ mandates and budget from the Maastricht treaty onward. And fourth, I look at the implementation of a specific policy item in the field of food safety regulation in order to investigate how the European Commission and EU agencies use their powers and tasks to shape policy outputs. The underlying goal linking the chapters throughout the thesis is, in sum, to grasp process of delegation to – and the empowerment of – supranational bodies in the EU multi-level administration. The thesis is structured as follows: in Part I, I address the determinants of delegation to executive actors in the EU. After presenting a newly collected dataset of relevant EU legislation in Chapter 2, throughout Chapter 3 I test well-established hypotheses grounded in the delegation literature. I consider policy-specific features – mainly policy complexity– the distribution of preferences of the main decision makers– Council, European Parliament and the Commission– in the legislative process and the decisions rule as explanatory factors for the incentives of decision makers to grant executive leeway to the main supranational institution, the European Commission, and to national administrations. Compared to previous studies, I extend the observation of this phenomenon to the whole post-Maastricht period and show how executive discretion is distributed among salient legislative acts covering the period between 1985 (the Single European Act) and nowadays. My findings, obtained through linear regression models, show that decision rules and conflict along integration lines are the main explanatory factors behind the granting of executive discretion to the European Commission. Moreover, my results suggest that the involvement of the European Parliament through co-decision has resulted into lower discretion granted to the European Commission. Given that the creation and use of specific executive bodies– such as EU agencies and regulatory networks– are actions concerted between the EU legislators and a bureaucratic actor, the Commission, in Chapter 4 I employ both delegation theory and theory of bureaucratic behaviour in order to account for the reliance on EU agencies by the legislator in the same dataset of major secondary laws. By means of logistic regression analyses I demonstrate that the more complex a policy issue is, the higher the probability to rely on an agency in policy implementation. Moreover, I identify a curvilinear relationship between the powers accumulated by the Commission overtime and the likelihood of agency use in EU secondary laws. This finding points to the fact that reliance of agencies goes together with the empowerment of the Commission, so long as this latter is not highly powerful. In Part II of the thesis I move from executive delegation in legislation to the consequences of delegation through two different chapters. In Chapter 5 I first describe and then analyse the growth of the EU agency system by assessing the determinants of the variation in the allocation of EU agencies’ budget. In particular, after an assessment of agencies reforms and developments since the early 1990’s, I investigate whether the observed reforms have led to a significant empowerment of those agencies in budgetary terms. To do so, I employ theories of budgeting (incrementalism and punctuated equilibrium theories) and legislative- bureaucratic relationships. I build an original dataset tracing the developments in tasks and budget of all EU agencies overtime from 1992 to 2016. It tests my hypotheses by means of a cross-sectional time-series analysis, revealing that trends in agencies budgetary allocation are explained by (i) crisis response, including the financial crisis and the Schengen borders crisis; (ii) by the reforms agencies have gone through overtime (iii) the typology of agency. Finally, in Chapter 6 I look at the configuration of actors that, together, shape EU policy outputs. Given the growth of the agency system and the alleged reliance of the Commission on these bodies, through this last chapter I seek to grasp the concerted role of Commission and EU agencies in producing policy outcomes in politicised situations. I build a theoretical framework by drawing different configuration of the Commission’s preferences of in comitology decision making vis-à-vis national governments, stakeholders, agencies and public opinion. I test my theoretical propositions through theory-testing process tracing, focused on the Glyphosate’s license renewal (2015-2017). I find that under strong political pressures the Commission engages in blame-shifting strategies and tries to avoid the burden of taking unpopular policies, while following agencies’ expertise becomes less of a priority.
FRANCHINO, FABIO
JESSOULA, MATTEO ROBERTO CARLO
FRANCHINO, FABIO
European Union; Governance; Executives; Delegation; Agencies
Settore SPS/04 - Scienza Politica
Settore SPS/01 - Filosofia Politica
Settore SPS/11 - Sociologia dei Fenomeni Politici
CAUSES AND CONSEQUENCES OF DELEGATION IN POST-MAASTRICHT EUROPEAN UNION / M. Migliorati ; supervisor: F. Franchino ; phd director: M. Jessoula. - : . Università degli Studi di Milano, 2019 Apr 08. ((31. ciclo, Anno Accademico 2018. [10.13130/migliorati-marta_phd2019-04-08].
Doctoral Thesis
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/2434/636260
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