Introduction: How to Analyse Administrative Reforms in the European Commission

Part of the Palgrave Studies in European Union Politics book series (PSEUP)


The European Commission is a relatively recent creation by international public administration standards. It was officially created on 1 January 1958 when the Treaty of Rome came into force. Legally one single body, the Commission, referred to as ‘the House’ (Cini, 1996, p. 101; Shore, 2000, p.127) by European officials, is in fact intrinsically dual, with two levels of action: the College of Commissioners and the services. This ambiguity is a good illustration of the Commission’s organisational essence. Its supranational character entitles it to initiate, draft and sometimes even implement legislation which then applies in each member state. This makes it radically different from a general secretariat of an international organisation (Kassim, 2004a; Cram, 1999). The Commission cannot be regarded as the mere counterpart at international level of national civil services. However, significant inspiration for its organisational characteristics at the time of its founding can be traced to the French administrative system with some input from the Germanic model (Stevens and Stevens, 2001).


Institutional Change Path Dependency Political Opportunity Critical Juncture Policy Entrepreneur 
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.


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Copyright information

© Emmanuelle Schön-Quinlivan 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of GovernmentUniversity College CorkRepublic of Ireland

Personalised recommendations