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Chapter

This chapter examines policies and the patterns of policy making in the European Union (EU). First it surveys the range of EU policy responsibilities, and identifies ways in which policy dynamics differ between them, the most striking difference in policy making relating to the Common Foreign and Security Policy (CFSP) and its defence affiliate, the Common Security and Defence Policy (CSDP). It then explores the different stages in the EU policy cycle: the passage of policy issues from agenda-setting stage through policy formulation and decision making to the implementation stage and feedback loops. In a final section, it identifies some important policy areas that are worth being aware of but where space precludes chapter-length treatment.

Chapter

This chapter provides an overview of how policy is made in the European Union (EU), focusing on the main procedures involved and the varying roles of the EU institutions. It begins by describing the range of powers that have been given to the EU by the member states in different policy areas, and the multiple modes of governance that are involved. The concept of the policy cycle is used as a framework to explain the stages in EU law-making. The ordinary legislative procedure is presented in some detail, and a case study illustrates the whole cycle from problem definition to implementation. The roles of the institutions in other kinds of policy process are then presented. Policy coordination is explained, with particular attention to economic governance and the European Semester. Finally, the chapter looks at external relations and the common foreign and security policy.

Chapter

This chapter provides an overview of how policy is made in the European Union (EU), focusing on the main procedures involved and the varying roles of the EU institutions. It begins by describing the range of powers that have been given to the EU by the member states in different policy areas, and the multiple modes of governance that are involved. The concept of the policy cycle is used as a framework to explain the stages in EU law-making. The ordinary legislative procedure is presented in some detail, and a case study illustrates the whole cycle from problem definition to implementation. The roles of the institutions in other kinds of policy process are then presented. Policy coordination is explained, with particular attention to economic governance and the European Semester. Finally, the chapter looks at external relations and the common foreign and security policy.

Chapter

10. Cohesion Policy  

A New Direction for New Times?

Ian Bache

This chapter examines the European Union’s cohesion policy, aimed primarily at reducing the social and economic differences between EU regions. Academic analysis of cohesion policy has generated insights that have framed wider debates about the nature of the EU as a whole, particularly through the concept of multi-level governance. Moreover, while cohesion policy has taken up a growing share of the EU’s budget, its purpose, effectiveness, and durability have been increasingly challenged. Before analysing these issues, the chapter provides an overview of the emergence of cohesion policy, taking into account the Cohesion Fund and policy reform in the 1990s, 2006, and 2013. It then considers the implementation of cohesion policy and discusses five variants of the modes through which the policy handles day-to-day policy-making: the classical Community method, the regulatory policy mode, the distributional policy mode, policy coordination, and intensive transgovernmentalism.

Chapter

10. Cohesion Policy  

Doing More with Less

John Bachtler and Carlos Mendez

European Union cohesion policy accounts for a major share of the EU budget and aims to reduce economic, social, and territorial disparities through investment programmes and projects aligned with EU strategic objectives and implemented under a unique model of multi-level governance. This chapter reviews the evolution of cohesion policy over successive reform phases, how the policy is implemented, and the evidence for its effectiveness. It also discusses the different policy modes encompassed in the policy, and it reviews recent political developments relating to politicization, Brexit, the sectoralization of EU spending, and the implications of the Covid-19 pandemic. The chapter concludes that the resourcing, priorities, and governance of cohesion policy for 2021–27 represent a new turning point in the prospects for the policy, following the strategic turns of 2006 and 2013 (Bachtler et al. 2013). While the budget for cohesion policy remains substantial, the policy’s importance is diminishing as a result of greater centralization of political decision-making within the Commission, a fragmentation of the political constituencies for cohesion policy, and the dominance of non-spatial EU policy priorities with centralized delivery mechanisms.

Chapter

Helen Wallace and Christine Reh

This chapter examines the European Union’s institutional design and how its institutions interact with national institutions in five different policy modes. The chapter first considers the evolving role and internal functioning of the European Commission, Council of the EU, European Council, European Parliament, and Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU). It also discusses quasi-autonomous agencies, in particular the European Central Bank (ECB), institutionalized control and scrutiny, and non-state actors. The chapter then offers an analysis of five policy modes that capture the different patterns of interaction between the EU and its member states: the classical Community method, the regulatory mode, the distributional mode, policy coordination, and intensive transgovernmentalism.

Chapter

Helen Wallace and Christine Reh

This chapter examines the European Union’s institutional design and how its institutions interact with national institutions in five different policy modes. It first considers the evolving role and internal functioning of the European Commission, Council of the EU, European Council, European Parliament, and Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU). It also discusses quasi-autonomous agencies, in particular the European Central Bank (ECB), institutionalized control and scrutiny, and non-state actors. It concludes with an analysis of five EU policy modes that capture the different patterns of interaction between EU and national institutions: the classical Community method, the regulatory mode, the distributional mode, the policy coordination mode, and intensive transgovernmentalism.

Chapter

7. Policy-Making under Economic and Monetary Union  

Crisis, Change, and Continuity

Dermot Hodson

This chapter examines the role of the economic and monetary union (EMU) in the European Union’s macroeconomic policy-making. As of 2015, nineteen members of the euro area have exchanged national currencies for the euro and delegated responsibility for monetary policy and financial supervision to the European Central Bank (ECB). EMU is a high-stakes experiment in new modes of EU policy-making insofar as the governance of the euro area relies on alternatives to the traditional Community method, including policy coordination, intensive transgovernmentalism, and delegation to de novo bodies. The chapter first provides an overview of the origins of the EMU before discussing the launch of the single currency and the sovereign debt crisis. It also considers variations on the Community method, taking into account the ECB and the European Stability Mechanism.

Chapter

12. Employment Policy  

Between Efficacy and Experimentation

Martin Rhodes

This chapter focuses on the European Union’s employment policy, which is currently formulated and implemented via several parallel modes of policy-making, including the standard Community method of legislating and a softer mode of policy-making and innovation via the European Employment Strategy (EES). The chapter begins with a discussion of the three modes of policy-making and governance in European employment policy that have been developed since the 1960s: the mode of legislated ‘rights’, based on the classical Community method; the mode of ‘law via collective agreement’; and a ‘new’ mode of governance, using the open method of coordination. It then considers employment policy-making before the Treaty of Amsterdam and employment policy innovations post-Amsterdam. It also examines social and employment vs economic rights in EU law and concludes with an assessment of future prospects for EU employment policy.

Chapter

7. Economic and Monetary Union  

An Enduring Experiment?

Dermot Hodson

This chapter examines the role of the economic and monetary union (EMU) in the European Union’s macroeconomic policy-making. As of 2015, nineteen members of the euro area have exchanged national currencies for the euro and delegated responsibility for monetary policy and financial supervision to the European Central Bank (ECB). EMU is a high-stakes experiment in new modes of EU policy-making insofar as the governance of the euro area relies on alternatives to the traditional Community method, including policy coordination, intensive transgovernmentalism, and delegation to de novo bodies. The chapter first provides an overview of the origins of the EMU before discussing the launch of the single currency, the sovereign debt crisis, and economic responses to Covid-19. It also considers variations on the Community method, taking into account the ECB and the European Stability Mechanism.

Chapter

This chapter looks at how European social policy has evolved since the late 1950s. It begins by reflecting on the intergovernmental character of the policy in the early days, and on how the gradual introduction of qualified majority voting (QMV) and the widening scope of the policy allowed the European institutions and interest groups a greater say in the EU’s social dimension. The chapter also looks at the fight against regional disparities and (youth) unemployment in EU cohesion policy, including the European Social Fund (ESF). Focusing on newer developments, later sections chart the arrival of the open method of coordination (OMC), a non-regulatory approach to European policy-making in this field, and the social partnership—that is, the involvement of interest groups representing employers and labour in making European-level social policy. The chapter concludes by arguing that social regulation has become more difficult since the accession of a large number of Central and East European (CEE) states, and because of the effects of the financial and economic crisis.