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How Europe shapes British public policy

How Europe shapes British public policy

Janice Morphet
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  • Book Info
    How Europe shapes British public policy
    Book Description:

    Britain's relationship with the European Union (EU) is frequently viewed as simple by the media and politicians. In ways - never really explained - the EU has managed to 'take away' Britain's sovereign powers and has the ability to determine much of its legislation. The history of how this has occurred is never discussed, unlike other countries in Europe.How Europe shapes British public policy examines the development of the EU as a sectarian issue in the UK. It discusses the effects of disengagement through the political practices of policy making and the implications that this has had for depoliticisation in government and the civil service. It considers the effects of EU membership in shaping key policy areas - trade and privatisation, the single market and the environment, and subsidiarity in the development and implementation of devolved and decentralised governance.This book gives new and essential insights for students and practitioners of politics, governance and international relations.

    eISBN: 978-1-4473-0048-9
    Subjects: Political Science

Table of Contents

  1. List of tables and figures
    (pp. vii-vii)
  2. CHAPTER ONE Introduction: the UK’s relationship with the EU
    (pp. 1-20)

    Britain’s relationship with the European Union (EU) is frequently characterised as being simple. In ways never really explained by the media and politicians, the EU is perceived to have ‘taken away’ Britain’s sovereign powers and has the ability to determine much of its legislation. The history of how this process has occurred is never discussed and, unlike other countries in Europe, no UK newspaper or broadcast media has a regular slot for the daily work of the European Council or Commission to inform or educate such debate. The European Parliament fares better with a share of the BBC Democracy Live...

  3. CHAPTER TWO Mechanisms of policymaking
    (pp. 21-46)

    Policymaking is at the heart of the discussion of the influence of the EU on the UK. Public policy is the expression of any government’s activities and its response to political objectives, events and external relationships. The consideration of policymaking processes is important for this book as they comprise the sites where interactions and disagreements can occur. Policymaking can be influenced and developed in different ways and this chapter provides some context to these processes. The objective here is to examine the provenance of specific policies and how they reach implementation.

    This is an area where there is a considerable...

  4. CHAPTER THREE British public policymaking
    (pp. 47-68)

    The mechanisms of British policymaking can be considered within ideological, theoretical and realist frameworks. The theoretical approaches have been more overtly influenced by anglophone countries – the US, Canada, Australia and New Zealand – rather than elsewhere in Europe (Pollitt and Bouckaert, 2000). These approaches have been focused on the development and adoption of New Public Management ideologies (Hood, 1995, 1998; Newman, 2001), networked/relational schools (Bevir and Rhodes, 2003) and, more recently, choice-based architectures (Greener, 2008; Dowding and John, 2009) and behavioural insight (Halpern, 2009; Dolan et al, 2010). These have all drawn from policy experiences that have been influenced by international...

  5. CHAPTER FOUR Shaping policy in the EU
    (pp. 69-88)

    Policymaking in the EU is concerned with the development and implementation of treaties and other intergovernmental agreements. Like other member states, the UK is part of this strategic decisionmaking and policy agenda-setting process. The final decisions on treaties are made by member states in the European Council of Ministers, which has a rotating chair, or through co-decision between the Council of Ministers and the European Parliament. The areas of co-decision have increased in each treaty. Practical policymaking within the EU is led by the European Commission where it has the power of initiative, following which it is considered over a...

  6. CHAPTER FIVE Trade and competition
    (pp. 89-114)

    The role of the EU in trade is through the promotion and defence of bilateral agreements with external countries or trading groups and through the negotiation and implementation of treaties with the World Trade Organization (WTO) and its predecessor, the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT). This role is central to the EU’s core purpose and power (Woolcock, 2010). It makes the EU a global actor of some significance (Bretherton and Vogler, 1999; Rosamund, 2000) and is the role in which the EU stands as an equal to the US (Meunier, 2005). Trade was also its initial purpose. The...

  7. CHAPTER SIX The Single European Market and transport
    (pp. 115-140)

    The introduction of the Single European Market (SEM) in 1992 for goods, services, capital and labour through the Single European Act 1986 (SEA) was a significant development in the internal integration and Europeanisation of policy across the EU (Young, 2010). It continues to be a touchstone in the unifying narrative of the EU. It was led by Lord Cockfield, a UK EU Commissioner from 1984 to 1992, and the President of the EU Commission, Jacque Delors (Egan, 2007). Despite being placed in this role by Mrs Thatcher and a neoliberal, Cockfield had numerous disagreements with Thatcher on the Treaty of...

  8. CHAPTER SEVEN Environment and sustainability
    (pp. 141-162)

    The role of the EU in environmental policy is critical to its powers and identity. Environmental effects are not contained within administrative borders. Regulatory standards can impose costs on business and their absence can transfer costs to communities and taxpayers. It is a policy arena where the stimulus for joint action has come from external agreements similar to trade (see Chapter Five). The environment has been used in conjunction with internal policy objectives to promote the single market (see Chapter Seven), as a mechanism to further develop the role of the EU (see Chapter Four) and to implement the principle...

  9. CHAPTER EIGHT Territory and subsidiarity
    (pp. 163-190)

    As the EU has developed from the Treaty of Rome in 1957, it has expanded its interest from sectors to spaces. EU policies for industry, transport and the environment has increasingly been set within their territorial context. The development of the role of territory and place within the EU’s interest was accelerated by the UK’s accession in 1972. The UK’s main driver for joining the EU was trade and access to markets, together with a concern for the economically lagging regions (Glasson and Marshall, 2007). The UK had to demonstrate that the EU would be able to continue financial support...

  10. CHAPTER NINE How does Europe shape British public policy?
    (pp. 191-218)

    British public policy has been shaped by Europe in a number of ways. In this chapter, these shaping influences are considered using the issues, processes and outcomes that have been discussed in the rest of this book. In particular, they are considered through their role in the policy process, persistence in delivery and overarching principles such as subsidiarity. It will also consider those priorities where Europe has been the agent of change but not its source, such as opening the public sector to competition. Third, there will be a discussion of how these policy priorities have shaped outcomes, particularly in...