Domestic change and EU compliance in the Netherlands: policy feedback during enforcement

G.E. Breeman, P.J. Zwaan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

9 Citations (Scopus)


ABSTRACT This article explores the impact of domestic politics on the implementation of European Union (EU) directives in the Netherlands. Its central argument is that member states can change their views on EU policies during the implementation of the directive. The resulting new mismatch between domestic and European policies can cause a divergence in policy outlook among EU members, deadlock situations and attempts to change or reverse the directive. Thus far, EU implementation studies consider mismatches between EU and domestic norms mainly as a problem of delayed implementation and assume that governments eventually achieve full compliance. In contrast, we argue that domestic responses to EU directives could cause a continuous flow of severe criticism at the domestic level. This feedback could lead to a reinterpretation of the directive at the national level, but also to attempts to change the directive at the EU level. We use the EU directive on Foot and Mouth Disease as a case study to illustrate how shifting values in Dutch politics have caused such strong feedback KEY WORDS: Domestic norm change, European integration, Europeanization, Foot and Mouth Disease, policy feedback
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)349-367
JournalJournal of European Integration
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2009


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