Pushing administrative EU integration: the path towards European network codes for electricity

Journal of European Public Policy, Vol 22, No 7, 2015, pp. 927-947

The expansion of the European Union's (EU's) administrative capacity could ultimately strengthen the influence of EU bodies at the expense of national governments. Recent scholarship has focused on the establishment of executive-administrative capacity beyond the European Commission, as in the form of EU agencies or networks. Previous research has identified interest constellations and existing transnational networks as important explanations, showing how the interests of national- and EU-level organizations have tended to group along a national–supranational axis. In 2009, the EU adopted a procedure for making binding EU legislation (network codes), delegating substantial tasks to a new EU energy agency (ACER), a new private European association (ENTSO-E) and to the Commission. Prior to the procedure's adoption, however, ‘intra-sectoral’ divisions overshadowed national–supranational divergence. Enquiring into the causes, this article finds that complementary use of perspectives can deepen our understanding of why and how the ‘European administrative space’ emerges.