Made to Measure? Europeanization, ‘goodness of fit’ and adaptation pressures in EU competition policy and regional aid

Research output: Book/ReportCommissioned report

Abstract

Increasing attention has been devoted to understanding the process and outcomes of Europeanization, but the measurement of its impact and of the adaptational pressuresinvolved remains elusive. Conventional constructs of Europeanization view 'goodness of fit' as a key indicator of the level of adaptational pressure. However, the number and variety of factors to consider casts doubt on the usefulness of this concept as a predictor of outcomes, as opposed to an ex post explanatory variable. The measurement of Europeanization and adaptational pressures can be facilitated by three elements: adopting an EU-wide perspective to enable a comparative assessment of impactsand outcomes; using a clear example of a new European level policy initiative that impacts on all Member States simultaneously; and a detailed knowledge of the ex ante and ex post situation in each Member State. The case study analysed here incorporates all these elements.In 1998 the European Commission introduced regional State aid guidelines that were explicitly modelled on the German approach to regional aid. From 2000 these rules were tobe imposed on all the Member States, almost all of which had radically different regional aid traditions. Over the period 1998-2000, this resulted in fundamental policy reviews in most countries and intense negotiations between Member States and DG Competition. Counter-intuitively, perhaps, given the apparently very limited adaptation required, the most difficult negotiations concerned German regional aid, with the dispute culminating in Germany challenging the Commission before the European Court of Justice. Against this background, this article provides a cross-country analysis and evaluation of adaptational pressures under the 1998 regional aid guidelines. It contributes to the Europeanization literature by exploring the means by which policy change can be measured and by investigating whether the predictive capacity of 'goodness of fit' can be improved.
Original languageEnglish
PublisherEuropean Policies Research Centre, University of Strathclyde
Publication statusPublished - 2007

Publication series

NameEuropean Policy Research Papers
PublisherEuropean Policies Research Centre, University of Strathclyde, Glasgow.
No.61

Fingerprint

competition policy
Europeanization
EU
European Court of Justice
European Commission
evaluation

Keywords

  • EU cohesion policy
  • regional development

Cite this

Mendez, C., Wishlade, F., & Yuill, D. (2007). Made to Measure? Europeanization, ‘goodness of fit’ and adaptation pressures in EU competition policy and regional aid. (European Policy Research Papers; No. 61). European Policies Research Centre, University of Strathclyde.
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Mendez, C, Wishlade, F & Yuill, D 2007, Made to Measure? Europeanization, ‘goodness of fit’ and adaptation pressures in EU competition policy and regional aid. European Policy Research Papers, no. 61, European Policies Research Centre, University of Strathclyde.

Made to Measure? Europeanization, ‘goodness of fit’ and adaptation pressures in EU competition policy and regional aid. / Mendez, Carlos; Wishlade, Fiona; Yuill, Douglas.

European Policies Research Centre, University of Strathclyde, 2007. (European Policy Research Papers; No. 61).

Research output: Book/ReportCommissioned report

TY - BOOK

T1 - Made to Measure? Europeanization, ‘goodness of fit’ and adaptation pressures in EU competition policy and regional aid

AU - Mendez, Carlos

AU - Wishlade, Fiona

AU - Yuill, Douglas

PY - 2007

Y1 - 2007

N2 - Increasing attention has been devoted to understanding the process and outcomes of Europeanization, but the measurement of its impact and of the adaptational pressuresinvolved remains elusive. Conventional constructs of Europeanization view 'goodness of fit' as a key indicator of the level of adaptational pressure. However, the number and variety of factors to consider casts doubt on the usefulness of this concept as a predictor of outcomes, as opposed to an ex post explanatory variable. The measurement of Europeanization and adaptational pressures can be facilitated by three elements: adopting an EU-wide perspective to enable a comparative assessment of impactsand outcomes; using a clear example of a new European level policy initiative that impacts on all Member States simultaneously; and a detailed knowledge of the ex ante and ex post situation in each Member State. The case study analysed here incorporates all these elements.In 1998 the European Commission introduced regional State aid guidelines that were explicitly modelled on the German approach to regional aid. From 2000 these rules were tobe imposed on all the Member States, almost all of which had radically different regional aid traditions. Over the period 1998-2000, this resulted in fundamental policy reviews in most countries and intense negotiations between Member States and DG Competition. Counter-intuitively, perhaps, given the apparently very limited adaptation required, the most difficult negotiations concerned German regional aid, with the dispute culminating in Germany challenging the Commission before the European Court of Justice. Against this background, this article provides a cross-country analysis and evaluation of adaptational pressures under the 1998 regional aid guidelines. It contributes to the Europeanization literature by exploring the means by which policy change can be measured and by investigating whether the predictive capacity of 'goodness of fit' can be improved.

AB - Increasing attention has been devoted to understanding the process and outcomes of Europeanization, but the measurement of its impact and of the adaptational pressuresinvolved remains elusive. Conventional constructs of Europeanization view 'goodness of fit' as a key indicator of the level of adaptational pressure. However, the number and variety of factors to consider casts doubt on the usefulness of this concept as a predictor of outcomes, as opposed to an ex post explanatory variable. The measurement of Europeanization and adaptational pressures can be facilitated by three elements: adopting an EU-wide perspective to enable a comparative assessment of impactsand outcomes; using a clear example of a new European level policy initiative that impacts on all Member States simultaneously; and a detailed knowledge of the ex ante and ex post situation in each Member State. The case study analysed here incorporates all these elements.In 1998 the European Commission introduced regional State aid guidelines that were explicitly modelled on the German approach to regional aid. From 2000 these rules were tobe imposed on all the Member States, almost all of which had radically different regional aid traditions. Over the period 1998-2000, this resulted in fundamental policy reviews in most countries and intense negotiations between Member States and DG Competition. Counter-intuitively, perhaps, given the apparently very limited adaptation required, the most difficult negotiations concerned German regional aid, with the dispute culminating in Germany challenging the Commission before the European Court of Justice. Against this background, this article provides a cross-country analysis and evaluation of adaptational pressures under the 1998 regional aid guidelines. It contributes to the Europeanization literature by exploring the means by which policy change can be measured and by investigating whether the predictive capacity of 'goodness of fit' can be improved.

KW - EU cohesion policy

KW - regional development

UR - http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/13876980802231081

M3 - Commissioned report

T3 - European Policy Research Papers

BT - Made to Measure? Europeanization, ‘goodness of fit’ and adaptation pressures in EU competition policy and regional aid

PB - European Policies Research Centre, University of Strathclyde

ER -

Mendez C, Wishlade F, Yuill D. Made to Measure? Europeanization, ‘goodness of fit’ and adaptation pressures in EU competition policy and regional aid. European Policies Research Centre, University of Strathclyde, 2007. (European Policy Research Papers; 61).