Agenda setting and decision making in the European Union : the Case of GALILEO

Meyerhöfer, Florian


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Dokumentart: Bericht / Forschungsbericht / Abhandlung
Institut: Hertie School of Governance
Schriftenreihe: Working papers // Hertie School of Governance
Bandnummer: 42
Sprache: Englisch
Erstellungsjahr: 2009
Publikationsdatum: 23.01.2013
Originalveröffentlichung: (2009)
SWD-Schlagwörter: Europäische Union , Entscheidungsprozess , Galileo <Satellitennavigation>
DDC-Sachgruppe: Politik
BK - Basisklassifikation: 89.73 (Europapolitik, Europäische Union), 50.93 (Weltraumforschung), 89.50 (Politische Prozesse: Allgemeines)
Sondersammelgebiete: 3.6 Politik und Friedensforschung

Kurzfassung auf Englisch:

This thesis deals with the application of agenda setting and decision theories to a concrete case of European policy making: The case of the European satellite navigation system GALILEO. Focusing on March 2002, the date when the final decision on the realization of GALILEO was made by the European Council in Barcelona, the thesis elaborates on the geopolitical, economic and financial engineering background of the Council decision. While the geopolitical situation since the late 1990s was in favor of GALILEO, significant fiscal pressures in important EU member states were preventing the issue to gain momentum on the EU agenda. With the background of the decision described, the thesis turns to theories of agenda setting and decision making that allow for a systematic analysis of the decision situation and decision process. The agenda setting part introduces a high and a low politics route and stages of issue careers as issue specification, expansion and entrance. The decision making part provides theories of bounded rationality, incrementalism, garbage can and a policy window approach. With these frameworks introduced, the case of GALILEO can be attributed to a high politics route and issue career stages can be applied to situations of GALILEO’s way through the European decision process. Decision theories enlighten the decision made by the Council and as a key turning point emerges the presentation of a new study with different fiscal and economic projections concerning GALILEO in end 2001. This study allowed to readjust policy makers their previous negative assessment of the economic perspectives of the project and to give the “go ahead”. With a different perspective, this new study could be interpreted as a seemingly objective justification for political leaders to decide in favor of the project, although many doubts about the financial feasibility of GALILEO remained. This situation fits well with the theoretical approach of Kingdon’s policy window and has characteristics of the garbage can model as well.

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