European Governance and Market Integration

European governance is in a continuous state of flux. The demand for effective policy solutions along with pressures for transparency and greater legitimacy has triggered a period of reflection and internal re-structuring. To combat overregulation, an ambitious agenda on ‘better regulation’ was launched which not only seeks to reduce the amount of red tape, but also promotes the involvement of various stakeholders and the use of expertise in an ever more complex regulatory setting.

Against this background, research at CERiM aims to improve the understanding of EU regulation and the processes through which it is created.Covering a great variety of policy domains from banking to economic policy and from migration to risk regulation, research at the Centre explores historical path dependencies, the regulatory challenges in these areas, the variation in governance arrangements, and the conditions under which particular actors and groups have or have not been able to influence the decision-making process and its outcomes. Due attention is given to the formal and informal politics and administrative law and procedures through which the European institutions, its many agencies and consultative bodies negotiate and coordinate.

The Centre also weighs in on the recurrent normative criticisms of European governance, for instance regarding its capacity to safeguard social equality and solidarity, and to effectively solve problems. Moreover, we explore criticisms regarding a lack of legitimacy and accountability in EU decision-making. One focus in this respect is on the role of the European Parliament and national parliaments, which both have been empowered by consecutive treaty reforms. CERiM researchers are probing into both the functioning of the EP and the role of national parliaments as scrutinizers of EU policy, and also examine the ways in which experts and bureaucrats interact with these democratically legitimated bodies. Moreover, questions of transparency of the EU policy process get into the focus of CERiM research.