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Learning from Practical Experience: Implementation Epistemic Communities in the European Union

Part of the International Series on Public Policy book series (ISPP)

Abstract

Literature on European Union (EU) policymaking has largely neglected how European institutions, such as the Commission, learn from experiences from the implementation of EU policies, and how this practical expertise enters the policy process. In this chapter, we explore how learning relationships between domestic implementing agencies and the Commission are shaped. The case of the 2013 reform of the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) shows that cooperation between implementing agencies in a network organisation contributed to their certification by the Commission and the establishment of a channel for frequent interactions. The following dynamic relationship was further deepened by the ability of the actors to find mutual objectives over time. It was most fruitful in fine-tuning newly introduced policy instruments, only after the finalisation of the content of the basic regulations.

Keywords

  • Common Agricultural Policy
  • Epistemic communities
  • European union
  • Implementation
  • Networks

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Acknowledgements

I would like to thank Pieter Zwaan for the helpful discussions on earlier versions of this contribution. I also express my gratitude to the editors of this book for their very constructive comments and opportunity to contribute to this edited volume, and the interviewees for their participation and enthusiasm. Finally, my thanks go out to the discussants of my work in progress at the policy learning workshop in London, and the 1st Annual Radboud Political Science PhD Workshop.

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Correspondence to Daniel Polman .

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Appendix 6.1: List of Interviews

Appendix 6.1: List of Interviews

Interviewee code Official capacity Organisation Date
Interview 1 Dick Oele (NL), Senior Policy Advisor Implementation Frameworks of the Common Agricultural Policy RVO Dutch Paying Agency May 2015
Interview 2 Hans van Ek (NL), Senior Policy Advisor RVO Former Secretary to the Learning Network of EU Paying Agencies January 2016
Interview 3 Ana Brncic (HR), Policy Officer Unit D2—Greening, Cross-Compliance and POSEI), DG AGRI June 2016
Interview 4 Nicolas Clisson (FR), Head of Unit Unit 3—Implementation Support monitoring, IACS and LPIS, DG AGRI June 2016
Interview 5 Rudolf Mögele (DE), Deputy Director-General DG AGRI June 2017
Interview 6 Anders Egonson (SE), Director of the Swedish Board of Agriculture Swedish Paying Agency, Current Chairman of Learning Network August 2017
Interview 7 Michael Cooper (UK), Director UK Co-ordinating Body September 2017 British Paying Agency, Former Chairman of Learning Network September 2017

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Polman, D. (2018). Learning from Practical Experience: Implementation Epistemic Communities in the European Union. In: Dunlop, C., Radaelli, C., Trein, P. (eds) Learning in Public Policy. International Series on Public Policy . Palgrave Macmillan, Cham. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-76210-4_6

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