EU Governance of Governance: Political Steering in a Non-Hierarchical Multilevel System
|Area Studies; Cohesion Policy; Competition Policy; EU governance; European Employment Strategy; EUROPEAN-UNION; MUTUAL RECOGNITION; MYTHS; POLICY; Policymaking; Second order governance
|UNIV ASSOC CONTEMPORARY EUROPEAN STUDIES-UACES
|JOURNAL OF CONTEMPORARY EUROPEAN RESEARCH
This article analyses 65 years of European governance as a process that has evolved from a simple model, based on hierarchical means of political steering, to a complex system of governance, using both hierarchical and non-hierarchical governance modes and combining them in innovative ways. The central thesis is that European governance constitutes a system of governance of governance, aimed at shaping and directing the governance of the member states. The article elaborates a conceptual framework by drawing on Kooiman's concept of three orders of governance. It identifies European governance as predominantly second order governance, focussing on the creation of appropriate procedures and institutional settings that structure governance processes. Empirically, the article provides an overview of the emergence and consolidation of a system of governance of governance in four phases. Furthermore, it analyses the creation of appropriate procedures and institutional arrangements in three selected policy areas. It thus highlights how second order governance is incrementally shaped. The article concludes that the evolving system of governance of governance reflects the multilevel structure of the EU and the need to balance permanently the contradictory policy objectives, governance modes and implementation strategies of the European and the national government levels, as well as the divergences among the member states.
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