Beyond the Myth of Nationality: Analyzing Networks within the European Commission
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The current literature on the European Commission refers to the influence of nationality in the functioning of the Commission and in particular to the reliance on networks based on nationality, failing to give much evidence apart from anecdotes. This empirical study takes a systematic approach by applying concepts from organizational network analysis to examine the networking patterns of Commission officials and to explore the effect of nationality therein. The data clearly show that nationality is not a significant factor in shaping officials’ task-related informal networks. While variables related to nationality and socialization fail to explain the variation, the size of the member-state in terms of the amount of officials it has and whether the contacts occur within the Directorate-General determine whether an official relies on compatriots for information and advice. The organizational structure of the Commission renders nationality irrelevant for its daily work.
- commission officials
- european commission
- nationality contacts