Structural Funding Policy in the EU Essays

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Structural Funding Policy in the EU

The central aim of this paper is to examine European Union policy in terms of its agenda setting characteristics. To do this, a theory of punctuated equilibrium is explored, based on the emergence and recession of policy issues from the transnational policy agenda. The primary goal of this paper is to define the current equilibrium and how it is punctuated. The secondary goal is to examine what forces drive the punctuated equilibrium, so that we might predict punctuation in the future. To this end, I hope to demonstrate the utility of the theory by studying structural funding (SF) policy within the European Union.

“Supranational integration has been one of the most distinctive features of the
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The increasingly interdependent nature of the transnational system has “resulted in national borders becoming ever more ill matched with political and economic forces and reality.” This interdependence has made it possible for Western European states to transfer policy responsibilities to the transnational level in order to “shape, manage, control, take advantage of, and keep pace with the modern world.”

To the extent that transnational authorities attempt to control, either directly or indirectly, the economies and social welfare of its members, the study of policymaking is a process worth studying. EU policymaking is governed by various instruments, including treaty provisions, regulations, and directives. While many policy studies on the EU focus on the need for, and benefits of, general economic and social policies, the more fundamental, and I would submit rigorous issues of specific policy formation, and its impacts, are under researched.

The central aim of this paper is to begin closing that gap by examining EU policy in terms of its agenda setting characteristics. To do this, I explore a theory of punctuated equilibrium, based on the emergence and recession of policy issues from the transnational policy agenda. Defining the current equilibrium and how it is punctuated is one goal of this paper. Also, examining what forces drive the punctuated equilibrium, that is, under what conditions it occurs will help in understanding how we might
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