The other face of Eurolegalism: The multifaceted convergence of national enforcement styles

L. Bastings, E. Mastenbroek, Esther Versluis*

*Corresponding author for this work

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This article analyzes the implications of European integration for national regulatory enforcement. More specifically, it tests the Eurolegalism thesis, which holds that the tendency of using more detailed, prescriptive European Union (EU) regulation combined with more public and private enforcement leads to a convergence in national enforcement styles. It does so by developing and applying a fine-grained conceptualization of enforcement style. This conceptualization forms the basis of a focused comparison of enforcement of the highly detailed and strict EU Packaging Waste Directive in the Netherlands and Germany - two countries known for their opposed enforcement styles. Our analysis shows that although convergence toward a more insistent enforcement style seems to have taken place, the two countries have arrived at this position in markedly different ways. By identifying differences in style underneath the surface of convergence, the article qualifies the Eurolegalism argument, thus, advancing the literature on EU enforcement styles and deepening our understanding of the subtle and divergent ways in which common international regulatory inputs may affect domestic enforcement.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)299-314
Number of pages16
JournalRegulation & Governance
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Sept 2017


  • Enforcement
  • Eurolegalism
  • European Union
  • packaging waste
  • regulatory styles

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