Guardians of EU law? Analysing roles and behaviour of Dutch legislative drafters involved in EU compliance
SourceJournal of European Public Policy, 24, 9, (2017), pp. 1289-1307
11 mei 2017
Article / Letter to editor
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Bestuurskunde t/m 2019
Journal of European Public Policy
SubjectEuropeanization of Policy and Law (EUROPAL)
By drafting statutes and delegated acts, national legislative drafters play a crucial role in European Union (EU) compliance. Given their extensive legal training, they can be expected to operate as ‘guardians of EU law’ and thus correct national non-compliant tendencies. Yet, they also have a role as politically loyal civil servants, responsive to national political demands. This conntribution answers the question of to what extent Dutch legislative drafters fulfil a role of ‘guardian of EU law’. Using in-depth interviews, the paper analyses legislative drafters’ role conceptions and their strategies in case national political demands prove incompatible with EU legal requirements. It finds that most Dutch legislative drafters try to reconcile EU law with their ministers’ political demands, if necessary by reinterpreting EU law. When this proves unfeasible, most respondents prioritize political loyalty over EU legality. Ultimately, therefore, legislative drafters do not form an insurmountable normative factor in EU compliance.
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