National Regulators Within EU Policy Networks: A Case Study of The Norwegian Energy Regulatory Authority (RME)
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Original versionEinarsen, A. (2020) National Regulators Within EU Policy Networks: A Case Study of The Norwegian Energy Regulatory Authority (RME). (Master's thesis). University of Agder, Kristiansand.
A growing number of studies indicate that increased incorporation of national regulatory agencies into the multi-level administrative structures of EU transforms existing patterns of administrative behavior in these institutions. In particular, the traditional, more local patterns of behaviorseem to be supplemented and/or replaced by the supranational behavioral logics. This study usesa case of the Norwegian Energy Regulatory Authority(RME)to examineif RME’s embeddedness into the EU policy networks affects administrative decision-making within this regulatory agency. By examining role perceptions of RME officials, conceptualized by three role orientations -departmental, professional, and/or supranational, this study tried to understand European integration through the transformative processes happening at the level of individual-decision makers.The empirical findings suggest that administrative behavior of RME officials are located on the functional expert-bureaucrat dimension, and that it issystematically shaped by the organizational structure.In particular, the horizontal specialization of the RME agency along functional lines wields the strongest effect on the formation of the departmental role among RME officials. Concomitantly, the inter-organizational vertical specialization whereby the RME is structurally separated from the Ministry wields the strongest effect on the formation of the professional/expert role among RME officials. These patterns of behavior epitomize the traditional split between politics and profession and seem to be quite stable and resilient to change.
Master's thesis in Political science and management (ME502)