© 2015

The European Commission, Expert Groups, and the Policy Process

Demystifying Technocratic Governance


Part of the European Administrative Governance book series (EAGOV)

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-xiv
  2. Julia Metz
    Pages 1-20
  3. Julia Metz
    Pages 47-74
  4. Julia Metz
    Pages 125-142
  5. Julia Metz
    Pages 143-159
  6. Julia Metz
    Pages 161-187
  7. Back Matter
    Pages 211-243

About this book


This book challenges the assumption that policy makers' work with advisory committees is emblematic of technocratic governance. Analyzing how and why the European Commission uses expert groups in the policy process, it shows that experts not only solve technical problems, but also function as political devices and negotiators in modern governance.


Policy advice policy-advisory systems advisory committees European Commission expert groups administrative governance public administration resource dependency knowledge utilization budget European Union European Union (EU) governance Policy work

Authors and affiliations

  1. 1.German BundestagGermany

About the authors

Julia Metz is an advisor at the German Parliament. She holds a doctoral degree from the Freie Universität Berlin and has previously worked as a senior researcher at the WZB Berlin Social Science Center and at the University of Bremen, Germany. Her work covers the areas of public administration and European governance, and has appeared in, among others, the Journal of European Integration and in Policy and Society.

Bibliographic information


'This book provides a comprehensive analysis of the European Commission's expert committees, drawing on quantitative data as well as on case studies. The expert group system has so far been seen as one of the main indicators of the Commission's predominantly technocratic nature. Metz challenges this view, showing that expert groups are parts of a basically political process, thus portraying the Commission more as a 'normal' political executive than as a technocratic body.' Professor Morten Egeberg, Department of Political Science, University of Oslo, Norway

'Julia Metz has produced a path-breaking study of an under-researched dimension of committee governance: the European Commission's expert groups. Drawing on resource dependency theory, and offering in-depth empirical findings, the book sheds light on the different ways (instrumental, consensus-building and substantiating) in which the Commission makes use of external expertise.' Professor Michelle Cini, Jean Monnet Chair in European Politics, University of Bristol, UK