Regulation and Infrastructure Management: German Regulatory Regimes and the EU Framework
BURKARD EBERLEIN and EDGAR GRANDE
GPS, Vol. 1 No. 1, (2001)
In the aftermath of large-scale privatization and liberalization of infrastructure management in Europe, new regulatory institutions and ways of managing network industries such as telecommunications, electricity, and railways have been established. This paper challenges the prominent assumption that, following EU-driven liberalization, regulatory powers simply move from the national to the European level. The paper looks at the German case of transition to a 'regulatory state' in infrastructure management. Assessing the differential impact of Europe-anization, it analyses the new institutional set-up of German regulation, and the tasks and problems faced by regulators across three sectors. The German case study indicates that a variety of sectoral (and national) regulatory regimes persist in the context of an EU regulatory framework in statu nascendi. A closer look at the institutional architecture of the EU framework reveals that European and national regulation interact in a complex and dynamic multi-level set-up, reflecting the specific characteristics of the European integration dynamic and of EU multi-level governance. The paper concludes by suggesting some tentative hypotheses on the shape of the European regulatory regime for infrastructure management.