Coordinated European governance: Self-organizing or centrally steered?

Adriaan Schout, Andrew Jordan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

146 Citations (Scopus)


Now it is widely accepted that the European Union (EU) constitutes a system of governance, analysts need actively to explore precisely how it may affect the continuing struggle better to coordinate national and European administrations. In its 2001 White Paper on governance, the European Commission interpreted governance to mean less central control and more network-led steering. Its interpretation of such networks is that they are self-organizing. Drawing upon an empirical study of environmental policy integration (EPI) in the EU, this article shows that this vision may not adequately fit the multi-actor, multi-level coordination challenges associated with some EU problems. By studying the administrative capacities that the European Commission and three member states have created to achieve better environmental coordination, this article shows significant administrative weaknesses. It concludes that the coordination challenges now troubling the EU require a more thoughtful discussion of network management than the White Paper suggests.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)201-220
Number of pages20
JournalPublic Administration
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2005

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