Same effects in different worlds : the transposition of EU directives

Thomson, Robert (2009) Same effects in different worlds : the transposition of EU directives. Journal of European Public Policy, 16 (1). pp. 1-18. ISSN 1350-1763 (

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This study examines variation in the timing of national transposition of European Union (EU) directives. It specifically addresses the central proposition of the worlds of compliance typology. The proposition is that the direction of the effects of key explanatory variables of compliance, such as the fit between new EU directives and existing national arrangements, differs by cultural context or ‘world of compliance’. Contrary to this proposition, the findings indicate that the direction of the effects is the same in different cultural contexts. The present study uses arguably the best information available on compliance, from Falkner et al.'s (2005) Complying with Europe study. This is also the information from which the worlds of compliance typology was at least partly derived. As such, this study offers a ‘most likely’ test of the typology. In addition to refuting the worlds of compliance typology, the findings support several expectations about variation in timely transposition from the existing literature.