Title: The effect of steering by multiple principals on national agencies' compliance with European Union laws

Authors: Michelle Zonneveld

Addresses: Institute for Management Research, Radboud University, Heyendaalseweg 141, 6525 AJ Nijmegen, The Netherlands

Abstract: National agencies that implement European Union legislation engage with multiple principals: the national government, the European Commission and EU agencies. In this article we have developed and tested a tool that enables examination of the effect of steering by multiple principals on an agency's compliance with EU laws. On the basis of multiple principal-agent theory we have developed an explanatory typology to predict an agency's level of compliance by configuring the principals' and agency's preferences and the steering mechanisms resulting from the convergence or divergence in preferences. The typology is tested in an embedded case study of the implementation of the Port State Control Directive in the Netherlands. The results show that the typology is able to explain two of the three cases. To enhance the explanatory power of the typology, we suggest including the strength of steering instruments used by principals as additional factor in the typology.

Keywords: steering; multiple principals; agencies; compliance; EU implementation; explanatory typology.

DOI: 10.1504/IJPP.2020.113725

International Journal of Public Policy, 2020 Vol.15 No.5/6, pp.432 - 450

Accepted: 20 Sep 2020
Published online: 12 Mar 2021 *

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