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The Institutionalization of Europe$
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Alec Stone Sweet, Wayne Sandholtz, and Neil Fligstein

Print publication date: 2001

Print ISBN-13: 9780199247967

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: April 2004

DOI: 10.1093/019924796X.001.0001

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Est Maître Des Lieux Celui Qui Les Organise: How Rules Change When National and European Policy Domains Collide

Est Maître Des Lieux Celui Qui Les Organise: How Rules Change When National and European Policy Domains Collide

Chapter:
(p.137) 7 Est Maître Des Lieux Celui Qui Les Organise: How Rules Change When National and European Policy Domains Collide
Source:
The Institutionalization of Europe
Author(s):

Patrick Le Galès

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/019924796X.003.0007

An examination is made of how tensions that develop between supranational and national governance structures are resolved, given the institutionalization taking place at the European level. The focus is on two national policy domains – state aids and regional development – and the author explains how, since the mid-1980s, European Union (EU) officials have succeeded in inducing their French counterparts to alter legislation and administrative practices once assumed to be fundamentally immune to external influence – a process that is increasingly referred to as the ‘Europeanization of the nation state’. The view taken is that Europeanization took place in a series of ‘rounds’ that have followed a common sequence: disagreement about the nature and scope of EU rules in national regimes; open contestation between supranational and national officials; the fixing of a new or clarified rule on the part of EU officials; and, finally, the grudging acceptance of the rule by the French. After each round, new patterns of French resistance emerged, but the rules of the game governing these interactions are fixed by the results of previous rounds, and come to be more or less taken for granted by actors at both levels; it is argued that the overall process tends to favour the expansion and diffusion of EU modes of governance, and the weakening of specifically national modes. The chapter is divided into three main sections: the first provides a summary overview of the development of EU competition policy and its intersections with state aids and regional policy; the second focuses on state aids in two sectors (French regional and industrial policy), which are analysed against the backdrop of the development of European competition law; and the third part discusses conflicts over the meaning of European rules in relation to the process of ‘endogenous’ institutional change.

Keywords:   competition policy, European competition law, European policy, European rules, European Union, Europeanization of the nation state, French administrative practices, French industrial policy, French legislation, French policy, French regional policy, industrial policy, institutional change, national governance, national policy, regional development, regional policy, state aid, supranational governance

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