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The consequence of modernisation reform: does DG COMP have more bureaucratic autonomy since the modernisation reform?

Shih, T; (2013) The consequence of modernisation reform: does DG COMP have more bureaucratic autonomy since the modernisation reform? Doctoral thesis , UCL (University College London).

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Abstract

The modernisation reform is the most important policy development in the European competition history. Council Regulation 1/2003 has replaced longlived Council Regulation 17/62 with three main changes in the competition enforcement. First, the reform decentralises the enforcement by introducing national competition authorities (NCAs), alongside Directorate-General for Competition (DG COMP), to apply Article 81 and 82 (now 101 and 102). Second, a quasi-binding European Competition Network (ECN) is established for the purpose of better allocation of cases and the consistent enforcement. Third, competition authorities are further equipped with the substantial power of enquiry and punishment to tackle the most serious infringements. These changes draw the attention to the possibility of paradigm shift and the relationships between DG COMP and NCAs. As the reform in many ways changes the enforcement of competition rules, the role of DG COMP would be very important to the studies of modernisation reform and to resolve the puzzles regarding the impact of reform and the actual enforcement of Council Regulation 1/2003. Therefore, the aim of the thesis is to assess the autonomy change of DG COMP and to reconfigure the role of DG COMP in the modernised European competition regime. In this regard, this research has to draw on a large body of literature, in particular, the principal-agent theory and the bureaucratic autonomy approach, to assess the bureaucratic autonomy of DG COMP in six aspects: political differentiation, organisational capacity, personal capacity, multiple networks, financial capacity and changes in legal status. Overall, this research has three main findings. First, DG COMP has increased its bureaucratic autonomy, with some reservations. Second, DG COMP holds a new ʻsupervisoryʼ role, along with its administrative and ʻjuryjudge- prosecutorʼ role. Third, two levels of principal-agent relationship have emerged and the leading role of DG COMP in the ECN is confirmed. As this research adapts the U.S. bureaucratic autonomy model to the EU context, the assessment may further be applicable to other public policy studies about institutional changes or competence reforms.

Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Title: The consequence of modernisation reform: does DG COMP have more bureaucratic autonomy since the modernisation reform?
Language: English
UCL classification: UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH
URI: http://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/1381933
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