© 2013

Civil Servants and Politics

A Delicate Balance

  • Christine Neuhold
  • Sophie Vanhoonacker
  • Luc Verhey

Part of the Public Sector Organizations book series (PSO)

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-xv
  2. Civil Servants and Politics: Setting the Scene

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 1-1
    2. Christine Neuhold, Sophie Vanhoonacker
      Pages 3-11
  3. Politicisation of Civil Servants between Neutrality and Political Activism? Country Studies

  4. Supranational Bureaucracies and Consequences for Administrative Players

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 171-171
    2. Sophie Vanhoonacker, Christine Neuhold, Luc Verhey
      Pages 229-238
  5. Back Matter
    Pages 239-246

About this book


This comparative study focuses on the changing relations between civil servants and politicians in the European Union in the last two decades. As well as national case studies this book also looks into politico-administrative relations in supranational institutions such as the European Commission and the European Parliament.


European Commission European Parliament European Union European Union (EU) Institution parliament

Editors and affiliations

  • Christine Neuhold
    • 1
  • Sophie Vanhoonacker
    • 1
  • Luc Verhey
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of Political ScienceMaastricht UniversityThe Netherlands
  2. 2.Leiden Law SchoolLeiden UniversityThe Netherlands

About the editors

CHRISTINE NEUHOLD is Associate Professor of European Governance within the Department of Political Science, Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences, Maastricht University, the Netherlands. She is a political scientist by training and holds her doctoral degree from the University of Vienna. Her main research interests include the role of parliaments and bureaucracies within the European system of governance.

SOPHIE VANHOONACKER is Professor of Administrative Governance and has a chair in Administrative Governance at the Department of Politics at the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences, Maastricht University, the Netherlands. Her main field of research is European administrative governance with a particular focus on the role of bureaucracies/diplomats in the European foreign policy process.

LUC VERHEY is a Member of the Advisory Division of the Dutch Council of State and Professor of Constitutional and Administrative Law at the Leiden Law School, Leiden University, the Netherlands. His main field of research is constitutional law with a particular focus on parliamentary law, public accountability, legislation and human rights.

Bibliographic information

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'This anthology deals with an enduring and highly important theme in public administration: the extent to which officials are recruited and promoted according to party-political criteria. The theme is crucial because it is related to administrative effectiveness and trust in government. The authors present cases that illustrate very well the many variants of such politicisation within Europe.'

Morton Egeberg, ARENA Centre for European Studies, University of Oslo, Norway.

This interesting book is a significant addition to the literature on the interface between elected and unelected public officials. It is topical, intelligent in its selection of case studies - the chapters on the eurocracy are original and rigorous- and balanced in its conclusions. It nuances what 'politicisation' of public administration means in a changing Europe with its multiple layers of governance, facing issues of great complexity and under permanent media spotlight. This is an important book to anyone wishing to understand politics.

Sir Julian Priestly, Former Secretary General of the European Parliament, 1997-2007.