General Issues of European Policy

  • Cristina Sin
  • Amélia Veiga
  • Alberto Amaral
Part of the Issues in Higher Education book series (IHIGHER)


In this chapter, we analyse the general issues of policy implementation in Europe. Policy definition and implementation is a complex problem in the European Union due to the presence of a large number of member states, each with very diverse economic, social and cultural interests needing to be accommodated. The successive enlargements of the number of member states have forced change in the decision-making rules, replacing the traditional unanimous vote by a qualified majority vote in order to avoid too frequent vetoes that would make the Union ungovernable. The framework of the differentiated integration theory is analysed as it allows for an interpretation of the flexibility mechanisms used to accommodate the diverse interests of the member states. A short presentation of the delegation theory is also presented, allowing us to analyse the problems of partial delegation of sovereignty to the European Commission. The traditional community method and soft law are critically compared and the problems of convergence are analysed. The role of the European Court of Justice is considered as the ultimate interpreter of what the legislation means.


Member State European Commission European Council Preference Heterogeneity Lisbon Strategy 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Cristina Sin
    • 1
  • Amélia Veiga
    • 1
  • Alberto Amaral
    • 1
  1. 1.CIPESMatosinhosPortugal

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