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The creation of European regulatory agencies and its limits: a comparative analysis of European delegation

Thatcher, Mark (2011) The creation of European regulatory agencies and its limits: a comparative analysis of European delegation. Journal of European Public Policy, 18 (6). pp. 790-809. ISSN 1350-1763

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Identification Number: 10.1080/13501763.2011.593308


Agency creation at the European Union (EU) level differs from that at the national one. European regulatory agencies (ERAs) have limited formal powers and separation from other actors, resembling networks rather than stand-alone agencies. ERAs for economic regulation have been created later and in smaller numbers than for social regulation. Using a historical rational analysis, this paper argues that past delegations to other non-majoritarian institutions at the EU and national levels condition the creation of European agencies. The Commission has defended its existing role and powers, accepting ERAs when they aid its strategy to increase its own reach and ensuring that it has many controls over them. When member states have created independent regulatory agencies (IRAs), those IRAs have defended their autonomy and resisted strong ERAs. Formalized EU networks of IRAs have hindered the establishment of powerful ERAs and when created, ERAs have involved layering and conversion of those networks. Hence formal delegation to ERAs has been limited and uneven.

Item Type: Article
Official URL:
Additional Information: © 2011 Taylor & Francis
Divisions: Government
Public Policy Group
Centre for Analysis of Risk & Regulation
Subjects: J Political Science > JN Political institutions (Europe)
J Political Science > JZ International relations
Sets: Departments > Government
Research centres and groups > LSE Public Policy Group
Research centres and groups > Centre for Analysis of Risk and Regulation (CARR)
Date Deposited: 17 Oct 2011 10:27
Last Modified: 20 Jun 2020 01:30

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