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THE EU AS LAWMAKER: THE IMPACT OF EU DIRECTIVES ON NATIONAL REGULATION IN THE NETHERLANDS

Authors

  • MARK BOVENS,

    1. Mark Bovens and Kutsal Yesilkagit are Professor and Associate Assistant Professor of Public Administration at the Utrecht University School of Governance in The Netherlands.
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  • KUTSAL YESILKAGIT

    1. Mark Bovens and Kutsal Yesilkagit are Professor and Associate Assistant Professor of Public Administration at the Utrecht University School of Governance in The Netherlands.
    Search for more papers by this author

Abstract

The impact of European directives on Dutch regulation is fairly limited when compared to the claims that are made by academics and politicians. We found that 12.6 per cent of all parliamentary acts, 19.7 per cent of all orders in council, and 10.1 per cent of all valid ministerial decisions were actually rules transposing EU directives. The total overall impact for all three types of legislation was 12.6 per cent. Departments generally employ the same type of rules in similar proportions both when transposing EC directives and when producing national rules. Departmental autonomy is a defining feature of Dutch central government in general, and this pattern persists in the coordination and implementation of EU directives. Nearly 90 per cent of the European directives in The Netherlands are transposed through delegated legislation in which no involvement of parliament is required. If we take into account the fact that the majority of formal laws are actually drafted by the executive and submitted to parliament, we could easily state that virtually all national rules that transpose European directives into the Dutch legal system are drafted by the executive.

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