The European Automobile Industry: Multi-Level Governance, Policy and Politics

The European Automobile Industry: Multi-Level Governance, Policy and Politics

The European Automobile Industry: Multi-Level Governance, Policy and Politics

The European Automobile Industry: Multi-Level Governance, Policy and Politics

Synopsis

This book presents an analysis of some of the changes that have transformed the automobile industry in the last thirty years illustrating some of the most significant consequences of globalization. Focusing on the response of Europe's policy makers, it analyzes government-industry relations at both national and transnational levels, demonstrating how national policy instruments have been eroded by regional, political and economic integration. There has been a significant and irreversible shift in the locus of decision-making power from nation states to the regional level in the automobile sector.

Excerpt

In practice the policy-making process of the car industry is affected by the multi-level structure of the EU decision-making system.

Holmes and Smith (1995:125)

This book provides an analysis of government-industry relations in the automobile industry at the national and transnational level. It also contemplates the evolution of governing structures at the global level. The automobile industry is one of the best examples of an industrial sector in which national policy instruments have been eroded by regional political and economic integration, and the globalization of production. This book examines how policy-makers at each level have managed their relations with the industry and how the industry has organized itself to participate in the policy process. By examining events at the national level using the British case as an example and then at the regional level in Europe, the book identifies the governing structures that have evolved and the relationship between these structures and policy outcomes. This approach reflects our initial suspicions that the steering mechanisms used by policy-makers to govern industrial sectors are shaped in large part by the structure of government-industry relations.

There has been a significant and irreversible shift in the locus of decision-making power from nation states to the regional level in the automobile sector. The European Union (EU) had achieved the full harmonization of national technical regulations by 1996, implemented a strict sectoral state aids framework and started to dismantle import barriers against Japanese cars. A new policy process has emerged at the regional level which co-exists with previous national arrangements. Accounting for policy outcomes requires an analysis of the relationship between public authorities and the industry at both levels. To this end the recent literature on EU policy-making has focused on developing and refining theoretical tools and models which can cope with the multi-level nature of EU governance.

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