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The EU commission and national governments as partners: EC regulatory expansion in telecommunications 1979-2000

Centre for Analysis of Risk and Regulation, London School of Economics and Political Science
Publication Date
  • He Transportation And Communications
  • Hj Public Finance
  • Political Science


Explicitly or implicitly, general models of European integration claim that EC regulatory expansion involves a struggle for power between Commission and national governments. The Commission is seen as a policy entrepreneur, taking the initiative to drive forward integration (Sandholtz and Zysman 1989). It seeks regulatory expansion due to constraints on its expenditure (Majone 1996, ch4). Neo-functionalists emphasise the Commission's ability to expand its role against the wishes of governments, thanks to the support of transnational groups and the European Court of Justice (Sandholtz and Stone Sweet 1998; Stone-Sweet and Burrell 1998). Intergovernmentalists differ in their conclusions about the distribution of power (arguing that the Commission is generally unable to impose its preferences on member states), rather than the assumption that Commission and national governments are in conflictual competition with each other for power (Moravcsik 1998, 1999)...

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