The Norwegian central administration ten years after accession
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- CES Working Papers 
This study demonstrates that the European Commission contribute to weaken hierarchical decision-making processes, and ultimately politico-administrative control and oversight, within the Norwegian central administration. This article studies how the Norwegian central administrative apparatus is penetrated by the European Commission through ten years of “associated EU membership” through the EEA agreement. The study outlines two complementary theoretical approaches to account for actual decision-making processes within domestic central administrations: one ‘administrative integration approach’ claiming that different EU institutions have profound and differentiated impact on domestic hierarchical governance, and one ‘administrative robustness approach’ advocating that the “EU effect” is filtered, mediated and modified through existing domestic decision-making routines and practices. The empirical analysis, based on a comprehensive body of survey, interview and documentation data from 2005, indicates that the European Commission tend do strengthen the lower echelons of the Norwegian government hierarchy, notably sector experts within sector agencies and sector ministries. At the same time, the European Commission tend to weaken the Norwegian politico-administrative leadership, the Foreign Office and the Prime Ministers Office. Consequently, the Norwegian case reveals that processes of mutual interpenetration between the European Commission and domestic government occur largely outside the control of the Norwegian politico-administrative leadership. Finally, this study also highlights that the Norwegian central administration mediates, filter and modify, to some extent, decision impulses from the European Commission.