Going Nordic in European Administrative Networks?

Open Access Journal | ISSN: 2183-2463

Article | Open Access

Going Nordic in European Administrative Networks?


  • Reini Schrama Department of Political Science, University of Copenhagen, Denmark
  • Dorte Sindbjerg Martinsen Department of Political Science, University of Copenhagen, Denmark
  • Ellen Mastenbroek Department of Public Administration, Radboud University, The Netherlands


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Abstract:  The integration and policymaking of the European Union (EU) are claimed to challenge Nordic cooperation as a separate ‘common order.’ Increasing interdependencies in the EU have forced all EU member states to collaborate and share sovereignty in an increasing number of policy areas. This article studies the coexistence of Nordic cooperation and European integration by taking a network approach. It analyses the extent to which Nordic members of European Administrative Networks ‘go Nordic’ to solve problems or exchange advice, information and best practices. Based on unique survey data on interactions related to the implementation of EU policies in Social Policy, Health and the Internal Market by national governmental organisations across the EU and the European Economic Area (EEA), we use social network analysis to test for distinguishable patterns of Nordic cooperation. We find evidence to suggest that Nordic cooperation in the EU and EEA is best characterised by differentiated integration. The Nordic states tend to form a separate community for problem-solving and exchanging best practices, advice and information in Health and Social policy networks, but less so in SOLVIT, a network related to the Internal Market.

Keywords:  European administrative networks; European integration; EU internal market; EU health policy; EU social policy; Nordic cooperation; policy networks; social network analysis; SOLVIT

Published:   3 November 2020


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DOI: https://doi.org/10.17645/pag.v8i4.3259


© Reini Schrama, Dorte Sindbjerg Martinsen, Ellen Mastenbroek. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 license (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0), which permits any use, distribution, and reproduction of the work without further permission provided the original author(s) and source are credited.