Supranationalism in a transnational bureaucracy: The case of the European Commission
AuthorEllinas, Antonis A.
Suleiman, Ezra N.
SourceJournal of Common Market Studies
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While a significant body of scholarly work suggests that we can best understand the policy output of international bureaucracies by focusing on the preferences of their political masters, this article joins those looking 'inside' such bureaucracies to comprehend their behaviour. Using an original data set from nearly 200 interviewees, the article examines the policy preferences of top bureaucrats of the European Commission. It shows that top Commission managers favour deeper European integration regardless of their national background or their organizational experience. The tilt of the Commission bureaucracy toward supranationalism is indicated by a broader consensus within the organization on some of the most controversial initiatives in the EU, such as the constitutional treaty, Turkish accession and the directive for the liberalization of the services sector. This notable consensus suggests that despite occasional policy setbacks and perceived intergovernmental 'trends', the Commission will continue serving its integrative mission. © 2011 The Author(s). JCMS: Journal of Common Market Studies © 2011 Blackwell Publishing Ltd.