This project took a different perspective on the phenomenon of Europeanisation than is traditionally adopted in the literature. Whereas most Europeanisation studies focus on the transposition and implementation of EU law, the starting point of this project was the recognition that EU law has a pervasive effect on national policy making. EU law not only influences the domestic legal order by imposing European legislation on it, but primary and secondary law and its interpretation by the European Commission and the ECJ constrain the range of policy options available to policy makers. By focusing on specific areas of EU primary law, namely the freedom of services and state aid control, new modes of governance (NMG) became relevant for the project. In the shadow of the EC Treaty, we identified some important NMG that had attracted relatively little attention in the debate on NMG. As to the principle of mutual recognition, a cornerstone of the European internal market, we first had to establish in how far it can be conceptualized as a NMG. As to European state aid control, a comprehensive overview of different modes of governance ranging from hard to soft types was developed.
By dealing with a central feature of ‘old’ European governance - the constraints that European economic law poses for domestic policies and institutions - the project was concerned with an issue that is at the core of several important concerns: the division of competencies between the national and the European level (i.e. the issue of subsidiarity); the legitimacy of the European order; the potential of new modes of governance; and the functioning of the European legal order after accession of CEE countries. By dealing with an area of law, where new modes of governance are relevant, we discussed the question how new modes of governance help to cope with the increased heterogeneity of Member states after enlargement.