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Enforcing State Aid Rules in EU Candidate Countries: A Qualitative Comparative Analysis of the Direct and Indirect Effects of Conditionality

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Citation

Botta, M., & Schwellnus, G. (2015). Enforcing State Aid Rules in EU Candidate Countries: A Qualitative Comparative Analysis of the Direct and Indirect Effects of Conditionality. Journal of European Public Policy, 22(3), 335-352. doi:10.1080/13501763.2014.964289.


Cite as: http://hdl.handle.net/11858/00-001M-0000-002D-4D7E-1
Abstract
The article analyses the effectiveness of EU conditionality regarding the enforcement of state aid rules in candidate countries during the pre-accession phase. Theoretically, conditionality should be able to overcome the reluctance of governments to implement control systems that restrict their ability to freely allocate subsidies. Effective conditionality can take two causal paths: first, it can directly influence the political decisions of governments in candidate countries regarding state aid, independent of any domestic institutional set-up; second, the reduction of state aid levels can be the indirect effect of the establishment of domestic monitoring authorities. To test these hypotheses, the article undertakes a multi-value qualitative comparative analysis (mvQCA) of the conditions for the reduction of annual state aid levels with regard to either the credibility of conditionality expressed by different stages in the accession negotiations, or domestic institutional factors such as the independence and operability of state aid monitoring authorities.