Based on interviews with 137 top Commission officials, this 2002 book challenges assumptions about the European Commission.
What kind of European Union do top Commission officials want? Should the European Union be supranational or intergovernmental? Should it promote market-liberalism or regulated capitalism? Should the Commission be Europe's government or its civil service? This 2002 book examines top officials' preferences on these questions through analysis of unique data from 137 interviews. Understanding the forces that shape human preferences is the subject of intense debate. Hooghe demonstrates that the Commission has difficulty shaping its employees' preferences in the fluid multi-institutional context of the European Union. Top officials' preferences are better explained by experiences outside rather than inside the Commission: political party, country, and prior work leave deeper imprints than directorate-general or cabinet. Preferences are also influenced more by internalized values than by self-interested career calculation. Hooghe's findings are surprising, and will challenge a number of common assumptions about the workings and motives of the European Commission.
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