“Monitoring and Enforcement in the European Union”, A. Schout and C. Padberg (Clingendael Institute, The Netherlands)

Whereas research has devoted considerable attention to the transposition and implementation of EU rules, literature on enforcement has been lacking. Even though studies have noted the multilevel dimension of enforcement, they have not yet arrived at a model for studying enforcement regimes in the EU’s multilevel governance system.

This article elaborates and tests a public administration approach to enforcement and aims to assess whether an over-arching and generalizable model of multilevel, subsidiarity-based and independent monitoring and enforcement in the EU can be formulated. As any governance system, the over-arching governance model for enforcement combines different governance tools: legislation, political mediation (persuasion) and management (capacity building). The Stability and Growth Pact (SGP) is used to test the relevance of such a systematic approach to enforcement. The Eurocrisis and doubts over mutual trust in the Eurozone highlighted concerns over enforcement of the SGP. The interdisciplinary governance models offers a tool to diagnose these weaknesses of enforcement in the SGP. The EU has so far failed to produce an effective enforcement model, even in a vital sector such as economic governance. 

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