more in line with national administrative styles and traditions. The philosophy behind this new approach is that it will lead to more effective implementation and will cause much less hostility to the EU as a 'nanny' state. There is, of course, a perfectly respectable argument for decentralisation and flexibility as a means of improving implementation. Indeed, Scharpf argues that if European integration depends on policy co-ordination (as, surely, it does), 'there is a need for co-ordination techniques which impose minimal constraints on the autonomous problem solving capacities of the member states'. However, he adds the crucial caveat that 'these, in turn, depend on the willingness of member states to pursue their own policy goals in ways which impose minimal constraints on free movement within the European market'(Scharpf 1994:219). This is a perfectly laudable aim and Scharpf cites examples of cases of technical interdependence where compromises have been reached between the technically optimum solutions and the constraint of avoiding too great a sacrifice in national autonomy. However, cynics familiar with the horror stories of the EU's implementation record to date might be forgiven for seeing subsidiarity as Euro-jargon for an extended licence to cheat. Rather than improved implementation, we are likely to uncover mass graves for EU policies, rather than the mere skeletons in the cupboard that have been discovered so far!
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Questia, a part of Gale, Cengage Learning. www.questia.com
Book title: European Union: Power and Policy-Making.
Contributors: Jeremy J. Richardson - Editor.
Place of publication: New York.
Publication year: 1996.
Page number: 293.
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