The Bureaucratic Growth of the European Union

Andreja Pegan


This article explores supranational activism on the example of bureaucratic growth in the institutions of the EU - operationalised as the number of staff members. The main question is to what extent are the numbers of staff employed in the EU institutions and bodies dependent on member states and their decisions to increase the functions of the EU through either treaty changes or the ratifications of accession treaties. To answer this question, two hypotheses are tested based on time-series data collected from the EC/EU annual budgets (1959-2016). The first hypothesis predicts an incremental growth of staff in EU institutions and bodies. The second hypothesis tests whether member states decisions to reform treaties and ratify accession treaties affect the number of staff members in EU institutions and bodies. Results show that the growth of EU staff has not been gradual and that decisions which are under the control of member states partially impact the growth of EU staff. Decisions and willingness of member states as well as EU institutions are needed to affect the number of staff members in the EU.


European Union, Bureaucratic Growth, Staff, Bureaucracy

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