Below the Member State: A Comparative Study of Regional Compliance with European Union Legislation

Wednesday, July 12, 2017
JWS - Room J7 (J361) (University of Glasgow)
Peter Clinton , Political Science, Universitat Pompeu Fabra
Javier Arregui , Universitat Pompeu Fabra
The political system of the European Union (EU) is characterized by a highly decentralized structure of legislative implementation. While the process of negotiation and decision takes place in Brussels, the implementation process is carried out in each of the 28 Member States. In federal and decentralized Member States the regional level is an essential actor for the implementation of EU legislation. This means that it is not only the central governments but also sub-state authorities (SSAs) who are responsible for implementing EU rules. This article investigates the role of Sub-state authorities (SSAs) in compliance with the European Union (EU) legislation. In particular, the extent to which the SSA are responsible for non-compliance with EU legal acts. The proposition is that SSA levels of non-compliance are affected by the institutional environment. A cooperative political environment encourages working together, which improves efficiency in implementation. Working together to achieve mutual goals can be more efficient by encouraging risksharing, joint-problem solving, sharing information, resources or even delegating tasks to a more efficient institution. Thus we expect SSA in cooperative contexts to have fewer infringements. We test these arguments by examining a new and unique dataset of regional non-compliance data for regions in Austria, Belgium, France, Finland, Germany, Spain and Italy and the United Kingdom.