Europeanisation & Multiple Stream Theory: A New Framework for Understanding the Influence of the EU on National Policies and Politics; The Case of Ehealth

Thursday, July 13, 2017
Court/Senate (University of Glasgow)
Chloé Bérut , Sciences Po Grenoble, Université Grenoble Alpes
If today the effects of European hard law on domestic structures are well-documented, far less is known about the influence of European soft law. How is it possible to grasp accurately the multiple implications of non-binding and sometimes vague European instruments? When tackling this issue, researchers often attempt to ascertain if some features of domestic public policy were directly drawn from the EU level. Yet, as Kingdon (2002) argues, tracing back the origins of an idea can only be theoretically unsatisfying: they can come from anywhere, and finding their starting point is nearly impossible. What matters is rather how and why some ingredients were all gathered at the same time, enabling a public policy to be adopted. In the case of eHealth policies, it’s very likely that some of these “ingredients” were shared between member states, as almost all of them adopted their first significant eHealth strategy between 2000 and 2006. At the same time, the EU was investing huge amounts of financial and political resources to develop eHealth technologies and to promote national eHealth strategies. How did European incentives influence the adoption of eHealth policies within member states? Using a “usage approach” (Jacquot & Woll, 2004) of Europeanisation, combined with the Multiple Stream Framework (Zahariadis, 2003; Herweg, Hub, Zohlnhöfer, 2015) applied to domestic structures, we try to better understand how European soft law may affect national policies, even in the case of healthcare, which is an exclusively national competence.
  • Europeanisation & the Multiple Stream Theory.pdf (829.3 kB)