Europeanization Pressures and Administrative Reforms in Greece: Europe’s Influence on Subnational Institutions

  • Abstract:

    Since 1986, the subnational authorities in Greece have gone through distinctive waves of administrative reforms, aiming largely at their democratization, modernization and the overall increase of their capacity to deal effectively with the implementation of local public policies. In particular, the European cohesion policy has been deemed as a major facilitating factor in the process of reforming the subnational administrative level, with regard to the rules it imposed for the consistent and timely implementation of the undertaken projects. The proposed paper seeks to identify the EU’s impact on key administrative reforms of the Greek Regional and Local Authorities throughout the period 1986-2013, regarding their capacity for successfully implementing the European cohesion policy. It is argued that major administrative transformations in the Greek subnational level have taken place mainly as a result of Europeanization pressures that stemmed from the misfits of the Greek subnational administration to deal with the preconditions and the implementation demands of the cohesion policy. Although domestic factors have influenced the magnitude of the administrative reforms, it is the Europeanization process in its top-down approach alongside its mechanisms that is considered to be the driving force of change in the reform efforts of the Greek subnational administrative apparatus.