The executive branch of government in Europe is being transformed in a profound way. We are witnessing the development of EU-level executive bodies that, for the the first time in the history of international organizations, are capable of acting relatively independently of member-state governments and councils of ministers. As a consequence, the quite peculiar development of the Commission and EU agencies seems to trigger significant centrifugal forces within national governments. National agencies are developing into components of two administrations: they continue to serve national ministries but also take part in the formulation and implementation of EU policies in close cooperation with the Commission or EU-level agencies, with relative independence from their respective ministries. The authors in this book argue that a genuine Union administration that spans levels of governance is definitely in the process of development.

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