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Policy Matters But How? Explaining Non-Compliance Dynamics in the EU

  • Tanja A. Börzel
  • Tobias Hofmann
  • Diana Panke
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    The European Union’s infringement procedure is highly legalized. Nevertheless, as in other international institutions, non-compliance occurs on a regular basis and its transformation into compliance varies across EU infringement stages and over time. State of the art compliance literature focuses mainly on country-specific explanations, such as power, capacity, and legitimacy. In particular power-capacity models explain a good part of whether non-compliance occurs and how quickly it can be resolved. Yet, these approaches leave substantial parts of the empirical variation that we observe unexplained. This paper argues that policy and, in particular, rule-specific variables – although often neglected – are important for explaining non-compliance. Based on a quantitative analysis, we show that policy matters not only for the frequency with which EU law is violated, but also the persistence of non-compliance over time and over the different stages of the infringement procedure.

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    Paper provided by Free University Berlin in its series KFG Working Papers with number p0024.

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    Date of creation: 14 Feb 2011
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    Handle: RePEc:erp:kfgxxx:p0024
    Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.transformeurope.eu/

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    1. Bernard Steunenberg, 2006. "Turning Swift Policy-making into Deadlock and Delay," European Union Politics, , vol. 7(3), pages 293-319, September.
    2. Herzfeld, Thomas & Weiss, Christoph, 2003. "Corruption and legal (in)effectiveness: an empirical investigation," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 19(3), pages 621-632, September.
    3. Miriam Hartlapp, 2007. "On Enforcement, Management and Persuasion: Different Logics of Implementation Policy in the EU and the ILO," Journal of Common Market Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 45, pages 653-674, 09.
    4. Witold J. Henisz, 2002. "The institutional environment for infrastructure investment," Industrial and Corporate Change, Oxford University Press, vol. 11(2), pages 355-389.
    5. Keohane, Robert O. & Moravcsik, Andrew & Slaughter, Anne-Marie, 2000. "Legalized Dispute Resolution: Interstate and Transnational," International Organization, Cambridge University Press, vol. 54(03), pages 457-488, June.
    6. Steinberg, Richard H., 2002. "In the Shadow of Law or Power? Consensus-Based Bargaining and Outcomes in the GATT/WTO," International Organization, Cambridge University Press, vol. 56(02), pages 339-374, March.
    7. Checkel, Jeffrey T., 2001. "Why Comply? Social Learning and European Identity Change," International Organization, Cambridge University Press, vol. 55(03), pages 553-588, June.
    8. Smith, James McCall, 2000. "The Politics of Dispute Settlement Design: Explaining Legalism in Regional Trade Pacts," International Organization, Cambridge University Press, vol. 54(01), pages 137-180, December.
    9. Harfst, Philipp & Schnapp, Kai-Uwe, 2003. "Instrumente parlamentarischer Kontrolle der Exekutive in westlichen Demokratien," Discussion Papers, Research Unit: Democracy and Democratization SP IV 2003-201, Social Science Research Center Berlin (WZB).
    10. Downs, George W. & Rocke, David M. & Barsoom, Peter N., 1996. "Is the good news about compliance good news about cooperation?," International Organization, Cambridge University Press, vol. 50(03), pages 379-406, June.
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