Procedurally reducing complexity. The practices of German EU policy coordination

Yvonne Hegele

Abstract


Policy coordination in federal states is inherently complex because it includes a multitude of actors at the federal and the sub-state level. If the sub-states want their interests to be included in the final decision, they need to coordinate with the federal level but also amongst themselves. Several individual interests areoverlooked easier than coordinated interests of a group of sub-states. This paper puts forward the argument that during the coordination process, the actors from both levels meet in different constellations where they focus on different aspects of coordination, especially on different actors’ interests separately. This is a strategy which enables them to procedurally reduce the complexity of the decision-making process. In order to empirically investigate this argument, first a thorough definition of coordination as process is provided and operationalized for empirical investigation. It is accentuated that coordination as a process has different dimensions which are relevant for the understanding of the coordination process. This argument is analyzedwith the example case of German EU policy. The empirical data used are original expert interviews with German civil servants responsible for EU policy coordination at the sub-state level. It will be demonstrated that the actors strategically form voluntary coordination constellations which enables them to reduce complexity during the process.


Keywords


Multi Level Governance, Executive Coordination, Bundesrat

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