Troubles with Timely Transposition: Identifying and Explaining National Adoption of European Union Law
Anderson, Jeffrey J
European Union (EU) member states are required to adopt EU directives into national law -- a process called transposition. In the past decade there has been increasing interest in examining transposition rates of EU directives into national law, with most scholars assuming that the member states fall short of their obligations and seeking explanations for the delays. But is there actually a transposition problem? If so, where is it located, and how can we explain it? This dissertation aims to answer these questions. First, I argue that the extant literature, in assuming a transposition problem exists, undercuts the important fact-finding process that determines whether and where transposition problems lie. To determine the extent and location of member state transposition problems I create a new database encompassing the entire population of EU directives to have been transposed between 2005-2008. Using logistic regression, I find that transposition is a problem, but suggest that reframing the discussion to look at sectoral variation provides more explanatory power than cross-country variation. Second, after finding the location and extent of transposition problems, I then conduct another logistic regression in an attempt to determine which factors may cause transposition delay. I suggest that varying transposition rates may be caused by delaying factors being more heavily concentrated in some sectors and factors that tend to increase transposition timeliness being concentrated in others. Finally, I propose that constructivism may provide more insight into explaining transposition timeliness or delay than the more usual rationalist or institutionalist theories.
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