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40 J. Common Mkt. Stud. 1 (2002)

handle is hein.journals/jcmks40 and id is 1 raw text is: 


JCMS  2002  Volume  40. Number  1. pp. 1-21




Institutions, Inertia and European Union

Research Policy*




THOMAS  BANCHOFF
Georgetown University


Abstract

Explanations of the failure of integration are a natural preserve of intergovernmen-
talism. It is not difficult to blame the failure to integrate on recalcitrant states - and
they are in fact often largely responsible. This article examines how European
institutions can impede deeper integration. It sets out an analytical framework that
distinguishes three pathways of institutional resistance to change, and applies the
framework  to the case of EU research policy. In the face of American scientific and
technological superiority, European leaders have long articulated the goal of better
research policy co-ordination. But distinct national research policies persist; no sig-
nificant supranational integration has taken place. The institutionalization of EU
research policy in the framework programme (FP) - a funding stream for researchers
alongside much  larger national programmes - is part of the reason. Since the 1980s,
increasingly large and complex programmes  have  absorbed the administrative and
political energies of the Commission and generated clienteles attached to the status
quo. European  institutional legacies, and not simply national interests, have under-
cut efforts to create a 'European Research Area' marked by the better co-ordination
and integration of national policies.


Introduction

European   Union  research policy presents  a puzzle. In few areas have  the in-
ternational pressures for deeper integration been  as great. Faced with the sci-
entific and technological  superiority of the United  States, European  leaders
across the political spectrum have  called - since the mid-1960s  - for the co-
ordination  of national efforts to meet the American   challenge  and compete
more  effectively internationally. During the post-cold  war 1990s,  the strate-


*The author would like to thank Mitchell P. Smith, the editors, and two anonymous reviewers for their
helpful comments. The Alexander von Humboldt Foundation and the Centre for European Integration
Studies in Bonn supported the research for this article during the 2000-01 academic year.
© Blackwell Publishers Ltd 2002, 108 Cowley Road, Oxford OX4 1JF, UK and 350 Main Street, Malden, MA 02148, USA

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