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COMBINING MULTI-LEVEL AND NETWORK GOVERNANCE WITH A SPILLOVER EFFECT: THE CASE OF THE EUROPEAN “INNOVATION UNION” FLAGSHIP INITIATIVE

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Author(s): Andra Maria POPA | Ioana DODI | Oana-Andreea ION

Journal: Lex et Scientia
ISSN 1583-039X

Volume: 18;
Issue: 1;
Start page: 340;
Date: 2011;
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Keywords: Multi-Level Governance | Network Governance | Spillover | Europe 2020 | Innovation

ABSTRACT
The purpose of this paper is to demonstrate the possibility of a theoretical up-grade to the framework offered by the theory of governance: from a middle-range theory to a full theory through adding a neofunctionalist component that would enhance its explanatory capabilities by projecting them at the systemic level. The authors have chosen, as a case study, the flagship initiative "Innovation Union" within the Europe 2020 Strategy; this initiative provides a set of actions that can be undertaken at different levels of political authority (supranational, national, etc.) and involving several types of actors (state, supranational, non-state, etc.), context which validates the theoretical components of governance, represented by multi-level governance and network governance. The authors consider that the integration of the research policy of the Member States will produce a spillover effect (in neofunctionalist terms) on other policy areas; the argument is based on the fact that the Europe 2020 Strategy, in general, and the flagship initiative "Innovation Union", in particular, require concerted actions within different policy directions (research, education, industrial policy, fiscal policy, employment, communications, environment, etc.), context that determines an "integration" trend of these policies on the basis of a spillover process. The authors believe that the integration of all policy areas involved in the flagship initiative "Innovation Union" would lead, through a spillover effect, to a better European economic integration. The normative foundation of the analysis is the Treaty of Lisbon, as the flagship initiative is part of the research and development policy of the European Union, in which the EU currently holds not only the competence to support, coordinate and complement the actions undertaken by the Member States, but also to define and implement programs.
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