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National Compliance with EU Water Directives: An Investigation of Public Institutional Settings and Organisational Patterns

Author(s): Alessandro Marra | Vittorio Carlei

Journal: Central European Journal of Public Policy
ISSN 1802-4866

Volume: 5;
Issue: 1;
Start page: 76;
Date: 2011;
Original page

Keywords: public institutional settings | regulatory effectiveness | water sector management

The research question addressed in this paper is: Does national compliance with EU water directives really depend on the setting up of the right institution in the right place? We propose an analytical framework to: i) investigate the complexity of public institutional settings (PIS) in water sector management, from an inclusive and objective perspective; ii) identify the organisational patterns in some EU member states adopted to cope with institutional complexity. Section 1 introduces the article. Section 2 describes the theoretical background, which exists at the intersection between political science, economics and public administration. Section 3 presents the PIS in the Italian water sector and section 4 provides a cross-country comparison of the PIS related to water sector management in several EU countries. Section 5 exploits similarity matrices to substantiate the main findings of our descriptive analysis. The presence of efficient supervisors or coordinators, often at the highest level (i.e., national) in the PIS, enables divergences in the institutional setting to be addressed. Moreover, the degree of centralisation in national regulatory functions promotes compliance.
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