Whereas most research focuses on non-compliant implementation, we lack understanding of implementers' incentives and abilities to outperform national legislation. This study investigates a largely under-researched question: to what extent practical implementation exceeds levels of legislative compliance with EU requirements? To explain this phenomenon, we focus on the responsiveness of implementing actors to external (participation in transnational networks) and domestic pressures (national societal attitudes) for compliance with EU requirements and the availability of additional expertise at the implementation stage (bottom-up). Moreover, implementing actors are unlikely to respond in the same way to different types of national legislative problems (top-down). The findings suggest that implementers often outperform the transposition of EU laws. Practical outperformance depends on the level of societal support for external policies and is a response to incomplete or ambiguous domestic formal rules.

Additional Metadata
Keywords European Union governance, implementers' outperformance, practical implementation
Persistent URL dx.doi.org/10.1111/jcms.12637, hdl.handle.net/1765/111360
Journal JCMS: Journal of Common Market Studies
Citation
Zhelyazkova, A.T, Kaya, C. (Cansarp), & Schrama, R. (Reini). (2018). When Practice Goes beyond Legislators' Expectations: Analysis of Practical Implementation Exceeding Legal Compliance with EU Directives. JCMS: Journal of Common Market Studies, 56(3), 520–538. doi:10.1111/jcms.12637