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Voice or Loyalty? The Evolution of the European Environment Agency (EEA)

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This article seeks to contribute to the debate about the role and autonomy of European agencies, and it is argued that in order to capture a fuller picture of their functioning, we need to go beyond a legal framework, taking into account institutional features that involve both formal and informal processes. We also need to follow processes over time in order to avoid snapshot images and to be able to identify dynamics of institutionalization and change. The article examines the evolution of the European Environment Agency (EEA) from its inception in 1991, and analyses its gradual transformation from a legal to a living institution in the EU system. Over the years the agency has become a more loyal partner to the Commission in the European administrative system, balancing the ability to have a credible voice on the one hand and the need for stability and a secure resource supply on the other.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 2010-09-01

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