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Being Spain in Brussels: Policy bureaucracy, agenda setting and negotiation in the EU policy process

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Spanish bureaucracy is often said to be marked by poor coordination, poor information and inability to shape political agendas - but analyses of Spanish EU policy regularly present a list of its achievements. We focus on the 'policy bureaucracy' that monitors and acts on dossiers regardless of their political priority, using one EU policy area: health care services policy. For almost the entire EU health care debate, Spain was uncoordinated and invested little in formulating its interests or shaping agendas. Spain's policy bureaucracy fits a country that wins amendments at late stages, but does not engage early to shape policy outside its key priorities.

Keywords: EU; Spain; autonomous community; bureaucracy; health; policy-making

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: 1: University of Michigan School of Public Health 2: Universite Libre de Bruxelles

Publication date: 2012-01-12

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  • The International Journal of Iberian Studies (IJIS) is the academic journal for scholars from around the world whose research focuses on contemporary Spain and Portugal from a range of disciplinary perspectives. IJIS is interested in history (20th century onwards), government and politics; foreign policy and international relations.
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