Classical concepts of public administration define ‘politics’ and administration as opposites (for example, Wilson, 1887). Theoretically, the separation of the administration from party politics is necessary to serve the general public interest when executing political decisions, while discretion is a precondition to cogently implement policies. However, empirical as well as conceptual works have left this dichotomy behind to instead describe politics and administration as closely interwoven. Landmark studies developed ‘images’ (Aberbach et al., 1981) or ‘models of interaction’ (Peters, 1988) to capture the relative autonomy of bureaucracy, how politicians and bureaucrats cooperate or complement each other in policy making, and whether they interact cross-departmentally or in functional policy communities. Today, the ‘growing osmosis between the political and administrative system’ (Bekke and van der Meer, 2000, 281) is frequently captured as the politicization of administration. From a comparative perspective, differences in the politicization of administrations across time and countries prevail, yet overall the picture seems clear: administrations are constantly or even increasingly politicized (for example, Balint et al., 2008, 685; Peters and Pierre, 2004; Schnapp, 2004; Schwanke and Ebinger, 2006). To what extent does this account of a politicized administration hold for the European Union (EU)?
- European Union
- European Commission
- Ideological Orientation
- European Union Policy
- Parliamentary Democracy
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© 2015 Miriam Hartlapp
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Hartlapp, M. (2015). Politicization of the European Commission: When, How, and with What Impact?. In: Bauer, M.W., Trondal, J. (eds) The Palgrave Handbook of the European Administrative System. European Administrative Governance. Palgrave Macmillan, London. https://doi.org/10.1057/9781137339898_9
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