Towards a Multilevel Union Administration? The Decentralization of EU Competition Policy

  • Øivind Støle
Part of the Palgrave Studies in European Union Politics book series (PSEUP)


The very notion of a Union administration may be perceived as a contradiction in terms, given the strong linkage of public administration to the concept of the nation-state. Inspired by, for example, the American and the French revolutions, principles of government reflecting the sovereignty of the people were firmly established in nation-states all over the Western world during the nineteenth century. The foundation for such national administrations was a hierarchically-based political community, gaining its formal and social legitimacy through a majority in the populace. Subordination to decisions made by bureaucrats was thereby deemed acceptable. The impartial bureaucrat, administering state authority in the interest of the community, became a symbol of the nation-state (Nedergaard 2001: 30, quoting Weber 1971). Ulf Sverdrup (2003: 2) recognizes this heritage when stating that: ‘Administrative policies have been targeted at resolving tasks and problems within the borders of the nation state and it has been steered and governed by national political and administrative leaders.’


European Union Competition Policy Competition Authority European Union Level European Union Policy 
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© Øivind Støle 2006

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  • Øivind Støle

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