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An Organizational Approach to Public GovernanceUnderstanding and Design$
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Morten Egeberg and Jarle Trondal

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9780198825074

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2018

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780198825074.001.0001

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The Logic of Supranational Organization

The Logic of Supranational Organization

The Case of the European Commission

(p.43) 3 The Logic of Supranational Organization
An Organizational Approach to Public Governance

Morten Egeberg

Jarle Trondal

Oxford University Press

This chapter discusses ‘experiments’ in building supranational organization. Classical international organizations are formally governed by ministers who have their primary institutional affiliation at the national level. The European Commission, on the other hand, represents a notable organizational innovation in the way that executive politicians at the top, i.e. the commissioners, have their primary organizational affiliation at the supranational level. Thus, the Commission constitutes a ‘laboratory’ for experiments in supranational organization-building. The chapter asks what the relative importance is of nationality and organizational position as regards explaining organizational behaviour. The chapter shows that nationality plays a minor role among Commission officials. Nationality matters somewhat more regarding commissioners’ behaviour, but makes up only one of several components of their highly compound role, thus making behaviour at the top of the Commission qualitatively different from behaviour in e.g. the European Council.

Keywords:   compound role, European Commission, institutional affiliation, nationality, supranational organization

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