Bologna Process Implementation Problems

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


This chapter analyses the implementation problems of the Bologna Process in relation to the steering mechanisms based on the Open Method of Coordination (OMC). In areas such as education, which the European treaties have reserved for the legal command of national authorities (subsidiarity principle), the traditional ‘Community method’ of passing European legislation cannot be used and the European Union needs to resort to a soft law approach such as the OMC, which is an instrument of the Lisbon strategy and takes place in areas of member states’ competence (e.g. employment, social protection, social inclusion, education, youth and training). An important goal is to understand how far soft law methodologies, even when adequate to foster change, are adequate to ensure convergence and embeddedness of policy implementation and coordination, as there are successive levels (national, regional, institutional, etc.) with influence on the dynamic process of structural change. This is particularly relevant in the case of the Bologna Process as the implementation ultimately depends on the activity of autonomous institutions—the higher education institutions—where traditionally academic freedom does not allow for the direct top-down command of the central administration. Hence, implementation in conceptual terms is being challenged.


Policy Implementation High Education System High Education Policy Lisbon Strategy Lisbon Agenda 
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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© The Author(s) 2016

Authors and Affiliations

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

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