The European Union has had an effect on national decision-making and the chain of delegation and accountability in five parliamentary democracies. The country studies here present the most important changes that are taking place as Denmark, Finland and Sweden adapt to EU membership and Iceland and Norway participate in the European Economic Area (EAA). The analyses are based on a principal-agent perspective and the contributors show that a transfer of power from the national level to the supranational level does not necessarily mean that domestic delegation fails or that accountability is lost.
Six concrete findings are emphasized: the Nordic countries have adjusted to membership by making use of new control instruments; the Prime Minister and the ministers most involved in EU/EEA have increased their power; all cabinets have worked out new mechanisms to ensure co-ordination in European affairs; civil servants everywhere have become indispensable in European affairs; most of the procedures have been based on an overriding goal to create decisions and policies reflecting national consensus or broad compromises; and the distinct difference between the EU and the EEA states with regard to the effects of delegation to supranational institutions.
Release date NZ
April 1st, 2000
Edited by Erik Damgaard
Edited by Torbjorn Bergman
Country of Publication
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