Bread, Butter and Games? The Effect of Politicization on the Implementation of Country-Specific Recommendations in European Economic Governance
Veer, R.A. van der
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The proper implementation of economic policy is an essential precondition to the prevention of a new economic crisis in Europe. But the phase of policy implementation has so far only been studied as a matter of effectiveness and efficiency, while the context in which actors tasked with the implementation of policy operate in is often highly political. If policy implementation is responsivene to such political pressures, intended policy outcomes can be jeopardized. In this thesis I conceptualize the phase of policy implementation as a political process by investigating how the politicization of the European Union has affected the implementation of a specific measure in the area of European economic and fiscal policy: the Country-Specific Recommendations. I combine theories of delegation, risk management and political bargaining to generate hypotheses that are tested through both large-N multilevel models and qualitative content analysis. Contrary to theoretical expectations, I find a positive relationship: during policy implementation, the EU appears to respond to increasing levels of politicization by increasing the extent of the recommendations it imposes on its Eurosceptic member states.