Regulatory co-ordination in the EU: a cross-sector comparison

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The article examines what drives national regulators’ attitudes towards and engagement with EU regulatory co-ordination as facilitated by EU agencies and offices. It suggests that a bureaucratic politics perspective can counteract shortcomings of explanations conventionally advanced in the EU governance literature by showing that national regulators’ attitudes towards co-ordination are driven by the aim to protect their turf. This is empirically demonstrated by a comparison of attitudes to co-ordination across maritime safety and food control authorities in the United Kingdom (UK) and Germany that draws on original document analysis and semi-structured interviews with British, German and European Union (EU) officials. UK and German food control authorities have a positive attitude towards EU co-ordination, but the maritime safety authorities contest it. While the food control authorities use EU co-ordination to enhance their bureaucratic turf vis-à-vis lower-level authorities, the maritime safety authorities perceive EU co-ordination to threaten their established position in the International Maritime Organization.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1116-1134
Number of pages19
JournalJournal of European Public Policy
Issue number8
Early online date2 Aug 2016
Publication statusPublished - 22 Aug 2017


  • EU agencies
  • food controls
  • maritime safety
  • national regulators
  • regulatory co-ordination

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