This cluster focussed on the role of new modes of governance (NMG) for the implementation of EU policies and EU primary law in different types of states, “weak states” in particular, including Southern European member states, CEE candidate countries and associated states in the former Soviet Union and Northern Africa.
One of the key questions driving this cluster was the extent to which new modes of governance are employed by the EU to facilitate the adoption of and adaptation to EU policies in countries with weak state capacities, and the extent to which these new modes lead to more effective policy outcomes. The projects aimed at finding out whether the application of new modes require specific scope conditions, such as a minimum of political and administrative resources (shadow of hierarchy) or working systems of interest intermediation (civil society, corporatist business-government relations) in order to make (EU) policies more effective. Besides the question to what extent new modes facilitate the effective transfer and adoption of EU policies, the projects in this cluster also explored the implications of new modes of governance for the political and societal structures in these countries.
One of the most stunning findings was the apparent lack of new modes of governance. The six projects in Cluster 3, which focussed on the domestic level and explore NMG in nine different countries in Southern, Central and Eastern Europe, have indeed found only limited evidence for the emergence of new modes of governance. There is a clear dominance of traditional modes of governance, or “hierarchy in disguise” (project 15), in which state actors resort to command and control regulation to adopt and adapt to EU policies. Consultation, outsourcing, and to a lesser extent voluntary agreements are the only NMG we find that involve private actors. Moreover, NMG are usually embedded in old modes. Thus, the shadow of hierarchy often looms in the background. Likewise, NMG in the EU’s external relations with third countries frequently occur in conjunction with intergovernmental and hegemonic cooperation.
The political science perspective was brought to bear on these issues by the Boerzel team in its analysis of the adaptation of new member states to the EU's administrative and legal order, while Koutalakis examined the role of new regulatory networks within the enlargement process and the role played by these new modes of governance in easing the transition. Bruszt and Bobinska analysed the development of new modes of governance within the accession countries (respectively on local/regional and national systems), while Lavenex-Lehmkuhl examined the impact of the EU and its governance modes beyond the boundaries of Europe on the policies and politics of non-member states