at home; this makes national pressures often difficult to resist. In a number of well-publicised cases, such pressures have produced flawed or at least inconsistent decisions. Again, competition policy, including the control of mergers and of anti-competitive state aid, provides the clearest examples. Several analysts have argued that Europe will never have a coherent competition policy without a cartel office independent from both the national governments and the Commission. Commissioners would still be able to reverse an independent agency's decisions, as the German government does in the case of some Bundeskartellamt's rulings, but the political costs of doing so would be high, and the interference plain for all to see.
Thus, the European regulatory state of the future may be less a state in the traditional sense than a web of networks of national and supranational regulatory institutions held together by shared values and objectives, and by a common style of policy-making.
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