A Conceptual Account of the European Administrative Space

  • Jarle Trondal
  • B. Guy Peters
Part of the European Administrative Governance book series (EAGOV)


Despite advances in research on the European administrative space (EAS), no widespread understanding about its meaning, mechanisms, and significance yet exists. This chapter of fers a comprehensive conceptualization of the ‘EAS’ and takes stock of accumulated empirical lessons learned from its development. European integration through administrative capacity building assumes that the ‘EAS’ features a new pattern of European integration that complements regulatory integration (Weiler et al., 1985). Formulating and implementing public policy in Europe have been prerogatives of national administrations. The capacity of the state has largely been determined by ‘the [administrative] capacity of the state to effectively achieve the chosen policy outcomes’ (Matthews, 2012, 281). This chapter explores how these prerogatives have become complemented with the institutionalization of an ‘EAS’ within the European Union (EU). An ‘EAS’ serves arguably as a common European administrative infrastructure for the joint formulation and execution of public policy.


European Union European Commission European Parliament European Union Level European Union Policy 
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.


  1. Amoretti, F. and Musella, F. (2011) ‘Towards the European Administrative Space: The Role of E-Government Policy’, European Political Science Review, 3, 35–51.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Barzelay, M. and Jacobsen, A. S. (2009) ‘Theorizing Implementation of Public Management Policy Reforms: A Case Study of Strategic Planning and Programming in the European Commission’, Governance, 22, 319–334.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Bauer, M. W. (2009) ‘Diffuse Anxieties, Deprived Entrepreneurs: Commission Reform and Middle Management’, in Bauer, M. (ed.) Reforming the European Commission (London: Routledge), 691–707.Google Scholar
  4. Benz, A. (2012) ‘The European Union as a Loosely Coupled Multi-Level System’, in Enderlein, H., Wälti, S. and Zürn, M. (eds.) Handbook on Multi-level Governance (Cheltenham: Edward Elgar), 214–226.Google Scholar
  5. Christensen, T. and Lagreid, P. (2011) ‘Beyond NPM? Some Development Features’, in Christensen, T. and Lagreid, P. (eds.) The Ashgate Companion to New Public Management (Aldershot: Ashgate), 391–403.Google Scholar
  6. Christiansen, T. (2008) The Institutional Politics of the European Union, PhD Thesis. University of Maastricht.Google Scholar
  7. Coen, D. and Roberts, A. (2012) ‘A New Age of Uncertainty’, Governance, 25, 5–9.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Coombes, D. (1970) Politics and Bureaucracy of the European Union (London: Georg Allen and Unwin).Google Scholar
  9. Corbett, R., Jacobs, F. G. and Shackleton, M. (2011) The European Parliament (London: John Harper).Google Scholar
  10. Curtin, D. and Dehousse, R. (2012) ‘European Union Agencies: Tipping the Balance?’ in Busuioc, M., Groenleer, M. and Trondal, J. (eds.) The Agency Phenomenon in the European Union (Manchester: Manchester University Press), 193–205.Google Scholar
  11. Curtin, D. and Egeberg, M. (2008) ‘Tradition and Innovation: Europe’s Accumulated Executive Order’, West European Politics, 31, 639–661.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Dehousse, R. (2008) ‘Delegation of Powers in the European Union: The Need for a Multi-Principals Model’, West European Politics, 31, 789–805.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Drake, H. (2000) Jacques Delors (London: Routledge).CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Duchène, F. (1994) Jean Monnet (New York: W. W. Norton & Company).Google Scholar
  15. Eberlein, B. and Grande, E. (2005) ‘Beyond Delegation: Transnational Regulatory Regimes and the EU Regulatory State’, Journal of European Public Policy, 12, 89–112.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Egeberg, M. (1996) ‘Organization and Nationality in the European Commission Services’, Public Administration, 74, 721–735.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Egeberg, M. (ed.) (2006) Multilevel Union Administration (London: Palgrave Macmillan).Google Scholar
  18. Egeberg, M. (2010) ‘L’administration de l’Union europeenne: Niveaux multiples et construction d’un centre’, Revue Francaise d’Administration Publique, 133, 17–26.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Egeberg, M., Gornitzka, Å., Trondal, J. and Johannessen, M. (2013) ‘Parliament Staff. Unpacking the Behaviour of Officials in the European Parliament’, Journal of European Public Policy, 20, 495–514.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Egeberg, M., Martens, M. and Trondal, J. (2012) ‘Building Executive Power at the European Level: On the Role of EU-Level Agencies’, in Busuioc, M., Groenleer, M. and Trondal, J. (eds.) The Agency Phenomenon in the European Union (Manchester: Manchester University Press).Google Scholar
  21. Egeberg, M. and Trondal, J. (2009) ‘National Agencies in the European Administrative Space: Government Driven, Commission Driven, or Networked?’, Public Administration, 87, 779–790.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Egeberg, M. and Trondal, J. (2011) ‘EU-Level Agencies: New Executive Centre Formation or Vehicles for National Control?’, Journal of European Public Policy, 18, 868–887.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Eising, R. and Kohler-Koch, B. (1999) ‘Introduction: Network Governance in the European Union’, in Kohler-Koch, B. and Eising, R. (eds.) The Transformation of Governance in the European Union (London: Routledge), 3–13.Google Scholar
  24. Ellinas, A. A. and Suleiman, E. (2012) The European Commission and Bureaucratic Autonomy (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press).CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Gornitzka, Å. and Sverdrup, U. (2008) ‘Who Consults? The Configuration of Expert Groups in the European Union’, West European Politics, 31, 725–750.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Groenleer, M. (2009) The Autonomy of European Union Agencies (Delft: Eburon).Google Scholar
  27. Hartlapp, M., Metz, J. and Rauh, C. (2010) ‘The Agenda Set by the EU Commission: The Result of Balanced or Biased Aggregation of Positions?’, LEQS paper 21/2010.Google Scholar
  28. Hartlapp, M., Metz, J. and Rauh, C. (2012) ‘Which Policy for Europe? Power and Conflict over Position Formation Inside the European Commission’, Paper presented at the workshop ‘The transformation of the executive branch of government in Europe’, 14–15 June, ARENA, University of Oslo.Google Scholar
  29. Heidbreder, E. G. (2011) ‘Structuring the European Administrative Space: Policy Instruments of Multi-Level Administration’, Journal of European Public Policy, 18, 709–727.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Hofmann, H. C. H. and Turk, A. H. (eds.) (2006) EU Administrative Governance (Cheltenham: Edward Elgar).Google Scholar
  31. Hofmann, H. (2008) ‘Mapping the European Administrative Space’, West European Politics, 31, 662–676.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Hooghe, L. (1997) ‘A House with Differing Views: The European Commission and Cohesion Policy’, in Nugent, N. (ed.) At the Heart of the Union. (Houndmills: Macmillan), 89–108.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. Huntington, S. P. (1968) Political Order in Changing Societies (New Haven: Yale University Press).Google Scholar
  34. Kassim, H. (2006) ‘The Secretariat General of the European Commission’, in Spence, D. (ed.) The European Commission (London: John Harper Publishing), 75–94.Google Scholar
  35. Kassim, H. (2009) ‘“Mission impossible”, But Mission Accomplished: The Kinnock Reforms and the European Commission’, in Bauer, M. W. (ed.) Reforming the European Commission (London: Routledge), 22–42.Google Scholar
  36. Kassim, H., Peters, B. G. and Wright, V. (eds.) (2000) The National Co-Ordination of EU Policy: The Domestic Level (Oxford: Oxford University Press).Google Scholar
  37. Kassim, H. and Peterson, J. (2011) ‘Political Leadership in the European Commission’, chapter draft outline presented at the 12th Biennial Conference of the European Union Studies Association, Boston, MA, 3–5 March 2011.Google Scholar
  38. Knill, C. (2001) The Europeanisation of National Administrations (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press).CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  39. Levy, R. P. (2006) ‘European Commission Overload and the Pathology of Management Reform: Garbage Cans, Rationality and Risk Aversion’, Public Administration, 84, 423–439.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  40. Lodge, M. and Wegrich, K. (eds.) (2012) Executive Politics in Times of Crisis (Houndmills: Palgrave Macmillan).Google Scholar
  41. Matthews, F. (2012) ‘Governance and State Capacity’, in Levi-Faur, D. (ed.) The Oxford Handbook of Governance (Oxford: Oxford University Press), 281–293.Google Scholar
  42. Metcalfe, L. (1992) ‘After 1992: Can the Commission Manage Europe?’, Australian Journal of Public Administration, 51(1), 117–129.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  43. Meyer-Sahling, J.-H. and Yesilkagit, K. (2011) ‘Differential Legacy Effects: Three Propositions on the Impact of Administrative Traditions on Public Management Reform in Europe East and West’, Journal of European Public Policy, 18, 311–322.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  44. Murdoch, Z. and Trondal, J. (2012) ‘Contracted Government. Unveiling the European Commission’s Contracted Staff’, West European Politics, 36, 1–21.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  45. Olsen, J. P. (2003) ‘Towards a European administrative space’, Journal of European Public Policy, 10, 506–531.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  46. Olsen, J. P. (2010) Governing Through Institutional Building (Oxford: Oxford University Press).CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  47. Olsen, J. P. (forthcoming) ‘Accountability and Ambiguity’, in Bovens, M., Goodin, R. E. and Schillemans, T. (eds.) Oxford Handbook of Public Accountability (Oxford: Oxford University Press).Google Scholar
  48. Orren, K. and Skowronek, S. (2004) The Search for American Political Development (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press).CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  49. Painter, M. A. and Peters, B. G. (2010) Administrative Traditions and Administrative Reform (Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan).Google Scholar
  50. Peters, B. G. (2004) ‘Back to the Centre? Rebuilding the State’, The Political Quarterly Publishing, 75(s1), 130–140.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  51. Peterson, J. (2011) ‘Navigating the European Commission’, Paper presented at the 12th. Biennial Conference of the European Union Studies Association, Boston, MA, 3–5 March 2011.Google Scholar
  52. Poguntke, T. and Webb, P. (eds.) (2005) The Presidentialization of Politics: A Comparative Study of Modern Democracies (Oxford: Oxford University Press).Google Scholar
  53. Ragsdale, L. and Theis, J. J. (1997) ‘The Institutionalization of the American Presidency 1924–92’, American Journal of Political Science, 41, 1280–1318.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  54. Rittberger, B. and Wonka, A. (2011) ‘Introduction: Agency Governance in the European Union’, Journal of European Public Policy, 18, 780–789.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  55. Saint-Simon, H. (1964) Social Organization, the Science of Man and Other Writings (New York: Harper Torchbooks).Google Scholar
  56. Selznick, P. (1957) Leadership in Administration (New York: Harper & Son).Google Scholar
  57. Statistical Bulletin of Commission Staff. (01/2011). Brussels: The Directorate-General for Personnel and Administration.Google Scholar
  58. Suvarierol, S. (2007) Beyond the Myth of Nationality: A Study on the Networks of European Commission Officials (Delft: Eburon).Google Scholar
  59. Thatcher, M. and Coen, D. (2008) ‘Reshaping European Regulatory Space: An Evolutionary Analysis’, West European Politics, 31, 806–836.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  60. Trondal, J. (2010) An Emergent European Executive Order (Oxford: Oxford University Press).CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  61. Trondal, J. (2012) ‘On Bureaucratic Centre Formation in Government Institutions. Lessons from the European Commission’, International Review of Administrative Sciences, 78, 425–445.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  62. Trondal, J. (2013) ‘The Rise of a European Public Administration. European Capacity Building by Stealth’, in Genschel, P. and Jachtenfuchs, M. (eds.) Beyond the Regulatory Polity? (Oxford: Oxford University Press), 166–186.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  63. Vestlund, N. M. (2012) ‘Changing Policy Focus Through Organisational Reform? The Case of the Pharmaceutical Unit in the European Commission’, ARENA Working Paper, 6.Google Scholar
  64. Weiler, J., Cappelletti, M. and Seccombe, M. (1985) Integration Through Law. Europe and the American Federal Experience (Berlin and New York: W. de Gruyter).Google Scholar
  65. Wille, A. (2012) ‘The Politicization of the EU Commission: Democratic Control and the Dynamics of Executive Selection’, International Review of Administrative Sciences, 78, 383–402.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  66. Yesilkagit, K. (2011) ‘Institutional Compliance, European Networks of Regulation and the Bureaucratic Autonomy of National Regulatory Authorities’, Journal of European Public Policy, 18, 962–979.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Jarle Trondal and B. Guy Peters 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jarle Trondal
    • 1
  • B. Guy Peters
    • 2
  1. 1.University of CopenhagenDenmark
  2. 2.University of PittsburghUSA

Personalised recommendations