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The National Co-ordination of EU PolicyThe European Level$
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Hussein Kassim, Anand Menon, B. Guy Peters, and Vincent Wright

Print publication date: 2001

Print ISBN-13: 9780199248056

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: November 2004

DOI: 10.1093/0199248052.001.0001

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Permanent Challenges? Representing Greece in Brussels

Permanent Challenges? Representing Greece in Brussels

(p.147) 5 Permanent Challenges? Representing Greece in Brussels
The National Co-ordination of EU Policy

Calliope Spanou

Oxford University Press

This account of the Greek permanent representation at Brussels starts by describing the Greek administrative system as characterized by sectorization and fragmentation, low co-ordination, centralization and hierarchical structure, importance of informal networks and personal strategies, and weak institutionalization of horizontal and staff functions. Deficient steering at the top and lack of clearly set priorities are deeper reasons for co-ordination deficiencies at the national and sectoral level. In that sense, the co-ordination scheme for Greek EU policy can be seen as a ‘truncated pyramid’, even though, more recently, major national priorities represent an exception to the rule. This chapter argues that the EU environment and its functional imperatives put pressure on the Greek permanent representation to compensate for defensive attitudes and domestic administrative weaknesses, while at the same time being affected by them. It discusses the organization of the Greek permanent representation, and its tasks and functions (including communication with the centre, internal functioning and working methods, transmission of national positions and instructions, presentation and negotiation of national positions, and networking), and finally gives a brief assessment of the situation.

Keywords:   Brussels, communication, EU policy, European Union, functions, Greece, Greek administrative system, Greek permanent representation, internal functioning, national policy, negotiation, networking, organization, policy co-ordination, tasks, working methods

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