The European Union continuously faces transboundary crises (TBCs), such as the 1996 and 2000 outbreaks of ‘mad cow disease’, or the 2015 refugee crisis. Within this context, European Union agencies (EAs) have emerged as technical repositories that are capable of addressing such crises more efficiently than intergovernmental cooperation. However, their effective implication in transboundary crisis management largely varies, as different degrees of involvement can be observed. Different angles can be adopted to make sense of variation in the response of agencies to TBCs; hence, this study focuses on the role of EA management boards. These boards epitomize the unique nature of EU institutions, in that they represent the Member States and integrate their network capabilities into a single entity. Our study assesses perceptions of board members concerning three aspects related to the capacity of agencies to respond to TBCs: decision-making, coordination, and resources, based on a survey distributed among board members and a biographical database.
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Since we collected biographical data on 887 board members serving in 27 EAs, we were able to investigate the representativeness of our response rate. To do so, we followed the recommendations of Knoef and de Vos (2009), who suggest comparing the characteristics of the survey respondents with statistics that refer to the total population of board members. For example, they suggest comparing the educational degree of our respondents with statistics that refer to the population of board members. In addition, to test whether these differences are significant or not, we carried out significance tests. In particular, we tested for over- and underrepresentation with Chi-square analyses.
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This study was supported by the TransCrisis project (Grant No. 649484) under the European Union Horizon 2020 programme. The authors would like to thank the participants of the panel S31-06: Legitimacy, effectiveness and accountability of regional and global governance institutions at the 11th Pan-European Conference on International Relations, the participants of panel 144: Transformations in the Public Policy Process of the European Union at the 24th International Conference of Europeanists and the anonymous reviewers for their insightful comments on previous versions of this manuscript.
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Jordana, J., Pérez-Durán, I. & Triviño-Salazar, J.C. Drivers of integration? EU agency board members on transboundary crises. Comp Eur Polit 19, 26–48 (2021). https://doi.org/10.1057/s41295-020-00221-6