Policy Change and Policy Incoherence: The Case of Competition versus Public

A.M. Hommels*, T.M. Egyedi, E.M. Cleophas

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


This paper analyzes the struggle for policy coherence between two EU policy domains: competition policies and public safety policies. We use the notion of 'policy coherence' to demonstrate the difficulty of reconciling divergent policy aims, both within the EU and between the EU and its member states. We analyze the question what caused policy incoherence and why it occurred at a certain time. We aim to contribute to a further development of this concept in two ways: first, we apply it, for the first time, to an empirical domain that deals with EU internal relations. Second, we seek to enrich existing literature on policy incoherence with added insight into the causes and timing thereof. We use the notion of 'policy framing' to explain the occurrence of policy incoherence. In this way, we provide policy-makers and area stakeholders with advance warnings of the likelihood of its occurrence.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)443-458
Number of pages16
JournalJournal of European Integration
Issue number4
Early online date25 Sept 2012
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2013


  • European Union
  • Policy coherence
  • competition policy
  • policy framing
  • public safety policy
  • standardization
  • telecommunication


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