Beyond legal transposition : regulatory agencies and de facto convergence of EU rail liberalisation

De Francesco, Fabrizio and Castro, Graziella (2018) Beyond legal transposition : regulatory agencies and de facto convergence of EU rail liberalisation. Journal of European Public Policy, 25 (3). pp. 369-388. ISSN 1350-1763

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    Abstract

    Notwithstanding its maturity, the literature on Europeanisation and compliance tends to overlook the implementation stages beyond the legal transposition of single-market regulatory reforms. This article explains the cross-national variation in the actual implementation of a fully liberalised and open rail market among the EU-15. The empirical findings from a statistical analysis of an index of railway liberalisation highlight the importance of the establishment of national regulatory agencies. Member states with an independent regulatory agency converge faster towards the EU model of full liberalisation. This conditional effect of EU railway harmonisation is enhanced by the presence of new entrants that activate the institutional functions of agencies as enforcers of EU legislation.