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Harmonisation And Convergence? National Responses To The Common European Transport Policy

GPS, Vol. 2 No. 4, (2002)

Over the past decade, an increasing amount of scholarly attention has been shifted away from processes of institution-building and policy-making at the European level and, instead, has focused on the impact of European integration on national political and administrative institutions, policies and politics. Coined as Europeanisation, this strand of research challenges expectations of far a reaching harmonization and convergence of policies and politics in EU Member States. Rather, it has been shown that European influences are processed differently in the Member States, and, thus, are causing differential responses at the national level. Comparing road haulage and railway policies in five European countries, the article provides evidence for Europe's differential impact. It identifies a spectrum of reforms of national transport markets, with a hard-core, pro-competitive disengagement of the state in Britain at the one end and an Italian-style refusal of reform by private actors at the other, while France, Germany and the Netherlands ranging between these poles.

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