Rowman and Littlefield International
A Responsive Technocracy?

A Responsive Technocracy?

EU Politicisation and the Consumer Policies of the European Commission

By Christian Rauh

Publication Date: Apr 2016

Pages 324

ECPR Press

Hardback 9781785521270
£50.00 €70.00 $80.00
Paperback 9781785522499
£30.00 €41.00 $46.00
Ebook 9781785522512
£28.50 €39.00 $43.50

This book challenges the common image of the European Commission as an insulated technocracy immune to political pressures. Based on an innovative combination of public opinion, protest and media data, it first demonstrates that European integration has become increasingly politicised since the 1990s. Against this background, the Commission is now much more concerned about the public appeal of its policies. That, however, challenges and contradicts the well-worn patterns of supranational regulation in Europe. Rauh systematically compares 17 legislative drafting processes in consumer policy between 1999 and 2009. Based on first-hand insider accounts of involved officials, his analysis indicates that the Commission's policy choices indeed become more consumer friendly under higher levels of public awareness. While this improves the democratic quality of European decision-making, the book also reveals an enhanced conflict potential within the Commission and beyond which threatens to undermine the efficiency of legislative decision-making in the EU.

List of Abbreviations ix


List of Figures and Tables xi


Acknowledgements xiii


Chapter One – Introduction 1


Chapter Two – The Public Politicisation of European Integration 7


Chapter Three – Politicisation and Consumer Policy Formulation in the

European Commission 27


Chapter Four – Economic and Contractual Consumer Rights 59


Chapter Five – Product Safety 127


Chapter Six – Food Safety 173


Chapter Seven – Conclusions: The Commission’s Agenda-Setting

Activity in a Politicised Context 223


Appendix A: Additional Analyses of the Politicisation Index 243


Appendix B: Sampling Consumer Policy Initiatives 247


Appendix C: Operationalising Issue Salience 249


Appendix D: Interviews with Commission Officials 259


Appendix E: Assessing Consumer Interventionism in Commission

Proposals 261


Bibliography 269


Index 301

Christian Rauh is a Research Fellow of the Global Governance department at the WZB Berlin Social Science Center. He holds an MA in Politics and Management from the University of Konstanz and a PhD in Political Science from the Free University Berlin. His dissertation was awarded the 2013 ECPR Jean Blondel Prize for the best thesis in politics. Christian’s work specialises in political economy and the public politicisation of international and supranational organisations. He has been published by Oxford University Press, and contributed articles in European Union Politics, the European Journal of Government and Economics, the Journal of Common Market Studies, the Journal of European Integration and West European Politics.

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