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Artikel

Europese agentschappen in de praktijk: De strijd om autonomie en de paradox van samenwerking

Tijdschrift Bestuurskunde, Aflevering 3 2012
Trefwoorden European Union, agencies, autonomy, cooperation
Auteurs Martijn Groenleer
SamenvattingAuteursinformatie

    Agencies of the European Union (EU) are formally independent entities that collect information, provide advice and take decisions on technical, scientific or operational issues. While the original idea underlying their independence was that they could contribute to ‘depoliticize’ these issues, current discussions emphasize strengthening the control over EU agencies because it is often thought that they are too autonomous. The question is how autonomous EU agencies really are. I answer this question by studying the development of two agencies (for the authorization of medicines and food safety) in greater detail. The results of my research show that, in practice, not only do the creation and design of EU agencies result from political struggle, but this struggle continues during their development. Moreover, EU agencies are themselves part of this struggle. They must fight for their autonomy, but at the same time cannot position themselves too independently vis-à-vis other parties. This leads to the paradoxical conclusion that EU agencies are likely to be more autonomous when they cooperate more closely with other parties, especially with national agencies, whose positions in turn are strengthened rather than weakened.


Martijn Groenleer
Dr M. Groenleer is universitair docent bestuurskunde aan de Faculteit Techniek, Bestuur en Management van de TU Delft.

    Real estate vacancies, undeveloped land within cities and exhausted financial resources of governments are currently high on the agendas of urban decision makers. The financial-economic crisis is often blamed for this. In the Netherlands, overoptimistic development strategies from market players and city governments also contributed to this problem of oversupply, in their pursuit for profit, people and jobs. Research has shown the existence of two coordination dilemmas; at the local and regional level. What solutions to these dilemmas are possible? This article argues that recognition of the problem by local parties is a first and necessary step to be taken. Evidence shows this is difficult due to conflicting interests. Step two will be to decide for the feasible projects within the local development arena partners. Regional coordination is needed to determine conditions that the assumption underlying these projects should be based on. Only after this third step regional cooperation to prevent future tragedies development will be possible.


Leonie Janssen-Jansen
Dr L.B. Janssen-Jansen is universitair hoofddocent Planologie aan de Universiteit van Amsterdam.

Merel Mulders
Drs ing. M.J.C.B. Mulders is werkzaam als planoloog in de gemeentelijke praktijk.
Artikel

EU-besluitvorming en internationale milieuonderhandelingen

Een principaal-agentperspectief op het intern functioneren van de Europese Unie tijdens multilaterale milieuonderhandelingen

Tijdschrift Bestuurskunde, Aflevering 4 2011
Trefwoorden control, cooperation, European Union, international environmental negotiations, principal-agent
Auteurs Tom Delreux
SamenvattingAuteursinformatie

    This article analyses how the European Union functions internally when it participates in international environmental negotiations. It examines the relations between, on the one hand, the European member states and, on the other hand, the EU negotiator who represents the member states around the international negotiation table. Applying a principal-agent model, this article demonstrates, first, that the member states are able to control their negotiator and the way the latter negotiates internationally through the so-called ad locum control mechanisms, being the on the spot EU coordination meetings and the ability of the member states to attend the international negotiations. Second, this article argues that these institutional structures not only have a control function, but also a cooperation function. Finally, the analysis shows that the EU decision-making processes with regard to international environmental negotiations are not only characterized by the principals controlling their agent, but also by the agent keeping its principals under control.


Tom Delreux
Dr T. Delreux is verbonden aan de Katholieke Universiteit Leuven en heeft in 2008 de Van Poeljeprijs gewonnen voor het onderzoek dat aan dit artikel ten grondslag ligt.
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