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Resilience of National Policy Agendas to EU Policy: The Common Agricultural Policy

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Abstract:

The national policy agenda on EU related issues is usually dominated by implementation problems of EU directives. Central questions are: how should an EU-directive be interpreted legally and what are the requirements to conform national legislation to the EU directive? Recent EU studies however focus more on political responses and feedback processes and not only on the technical matters of EU policies. This calls for additional agenda-setting analysis, because the political venues that are available to change EU policies and the (re)framing of EU policy images differ substantially from those on national level. We hypothesize that national agendas are more resilient to EU policies than to domestic issues. This resilience creates new mismatches between national and EU policies, which will dominate the agendas on both national and EU level. In this paper we analyze such a mismatch. We describe how the shifting beliefs about the Common Agriculture Policy (CAP) on EU level triggered resistance on domestic level, showing a high level of ‘agenda-resiliency’.

The CAP has been subject to continuous change. The most recent initiative to reform is the ‘Health Check’ (2008). It entails among others that the link between direct payments to farmers will be limited and reduced. The money that is saved will be used to induce more fundamental changes of the CAP’s traditional values towards other societal values: such as climate change, biofuels, and biodiversity. But in the Netherlands, these new values are resisted, even though the Ministry of Agriculture seems to have embraced them. Traditional values prevail. The central argument in this paper is that domestic policy images hinder the implementation of new EU policies because these are dominated by fixed groups of insiders who hold ‘older’, norms. These ‘traditional’ actors know how the domestic agricultural venue works and how to influence them. By lobbying to the right representatives, they manage to sustain their own policy image time and again, making it impossible to move towards a new norm-set.

Most Common Document Word Stems:

polici (115), farmer (68), agricultur (68), eu (67), chang (43), parti (36), communiti (35), cap (34), valu (33), market (32), european (31), product (29), nation (27), support (26), area (25), member (25), ministri (23), govern (23), concern (23), level (22), sketch (21),
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Association:
Name: Seventeenth International Conference of the Council for European Studies
URL:
http://www.ces.columbia.edu


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URL: http://citation.allacademic.com/meta/p399711_index.html
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MLA Citation:

Werkman, Renate. and Breeman, Gerard. "Resilience of National Policy Agendas to EU Policy: The Common Agricultural Policy" Paper presented at the annual meeting of the Seventeenth International Conference of the Council for European Studies, Grand Plaza, Montreal, Canada, <Not Available>. 2014-11-27 <http://citation.allacademic.com/meta/p399711_index.html>

APA Citation:

Werkman, R. and Breeman, G. "Resilience of National Policy Agendas to EU Policy: The Common Agricultural Policy" Paper presented at the annual meeting of the Seventeenth International Conference of the Council for European Studies, Grand Plaza, Montreal, Canada Online <PDF>. 2014-11-27 from http://citation.allacademic.com/meta/p399711_index.html

Publication Type: Conference Paper/Unpublished Manuscript
Abstract: The national policy agenda on EU related issues is usually dominated by implementation problems of EU directives. Central questions are: how should an EU-directive be interpreted legally and what are the requirements to conform national legislation to the EU directive? Recent EU studies however focus more on political responses and feedback processes and not only on the technical matters of EU policies. This calls for additional agenda-setting analysis, because the political venues that are available to change EU policies and the (re)framing of EU policy images differ substantially from those on national level. We hypothesize that national agendas are more resilient to EU policies than to domestic issues. This resilience creates new mismatches between national and EU policies, which will dominate the agendas on both national and EU level. In this paper we analyze such a mismatch. We describe how the shifting beliefs about the Common Agriculture Policy (CAP) on EU level triggered resistance on domestic level, showing a high level of ‘agenda-resiliency’.

The CAP has been subject to continuous change. The most recent initiative to reform is the ‘Health Check’ (2008). It entails among others that the link between direct payments to farmers will be limited and reduced. The money that is saved will be used to induce more fundamental changes of the CAP’s traditional values towards other societal values: such as climate change, biofuels, and biodiversity. But in the Netherlands, these new values are resisted, even though the Ministry of Agriculture seems to have embraced them. Traditional values prevail. The central argument in this paper is that domestic policy images hinder the implementation of new EU policies because these are dominated by fixed groups of insiders who hold ‘older’, norms. These ‘traditional’ actors know how the domestic agricultural venue works and how to influence them. By lobbying to the right representatives, they manage to sustain their own policy image time and again, making it impossible to move towards a new norm-set.


Similar Titles:
Community-Level Policy Change and Natural Resource Use: How Definitions of Community Promote Change


 
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