Domestic Veto Players, Commission Monitoring and the Implementation of European Policy

  • Bernard Steunenberg
Part of the Studies in Public Choice book series (SIPC, volume 16)


In this chapter, I analyze implementation of European directives by focusing on the interplay between domestic political and administrative actors and the Commission as the “guardian” of European policy. Being unaware of the Commission’s true preferences, the domestic actors have to decide whether and to what extent they will adopt an implementing policy that deviates from the legislative policy as embedded in a directive. The model indicates that, in general, deviations only occur when both domestic actors and the Commission prefer so. In addition, uncertainty about the Commission’s preferences plays a limited role: only when the Commission wants a minor deviation from the European policy, the national actors may have difficulty in shaping a proposal that also accounts of what the Commission wants. Being too ambitious the domestic actors may overestimate the Commission’s true preferences and risk to be challenged.


Member State Ideal Point National Authority Domestic Actor Domestic Policy 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.



I thank the participants of the conference “Reform processes and policy change: How do veto players determine decision making in modern democracies” (14–16 May 2009, Mannheim), and the 2009 Conference of the Dutch Political Science Association (28–29 May 2009, Berg en Dal), and particularly Daniel Finke, for helpful comments.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Institute of Public AdministrationLeiden UniversityLeidenThe Netherlands

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