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The Uploading of National Policies in the European Union

Blais, Emilie (2015) The Uploading of National Policies in the European Union. Doctoral Dissertation, University of Pittsburgh. (Unpublished)

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This research addresses questions of policy transfer, specifically, policy uploading – the upward transfer of national policies to the European level. It contributes to three bodies of literature, namely, institutional theory, new governance, and European Union politics. The questions it addresses are why and how European Union member countries use the Council Presidency to upload their national policies, and what are the conditions needed for policy uploading to be successful. To answer these questions I use the case studies method and compare the Council Presidencies of the United Kingdom (2005), France (2008), the Czech Republic (2009), Sweden (2009), and Belgium (2010). For each case, specific national policies are looked at and I use process-tracing to identify the variables at play for successful uploading to occur.
Based on qualitative data, I find that the reasons explaining why countries attempt to upload their national policies during their Council Presidency supports what has been identified in the literature on venue shopping. In addition, many variables are important in explaining the occurrence of successful policy uploading. First, the country holding the Council Presidency needs to have the intent to upload its national policy and be committed to it, and it needs to be considered a superior option to the status quo. Second, being able to set the agenda, to shape policy content as well as possess a strong policy capacity contribute to the successful uploading of national policies. Although other variables may not be necessary for successful policy uploading to occur, they strongly influence it. The legal format the policy will take once it is adopted influences the willingness the other Member have to make compromises. The distinction is made between soft law and hard law modes of governance. Another variable making the uploading of national policy easier is the convergence of interests on the proposal. This is true under all decision-making rules, but it is especially significant under more restrictive decision-making rules such as unanimity. Finally, the stage at which the proposal is presented matters. The success cases in this study have taken place at the beginning of the EU policy process.


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Item Type: University of Pittsburgh ETD
Status: Unpublished
CreatorsEmailPitt UsernameORCID
Blais, Emilie
ETD Committee:
TitleMemberEmail AddressPitt UsernameORCID
Committee ChairPeters, B. Guy
Committee MemberStaniland, Martin
Committee MemberSbragia, Alberta M.
Committee MemberAlexiadou, Despina
Date: 10 September 2015
Date Type: Publication
Defense Date: 23 June 2015
Approval Date: 10 September 2015
Submission Date: 11 August 2015
Access Restriction: 5 year -- Restrict access to University of Pittsburgh for a period of 5 years.
Number of Pages: 232
Institution: University of Pittsburgh
Schools and Programs: Dietrich School of Arts and Sciences > Political Science
Degree: PhD - Doctor of Philosophy
Thesis Type: Doctoral Dissertation
Refereed: Yes
Uncontrolled Keywords: European Union, Public Policy, Policy Uploading, Policy Capacity, Policy Transfer
Date Deposited: 10 Sep 2015 16:13
Last Modified: 10 Jun 2024 18:25


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