The literature on European integration has documented several cases of creeping competences in the EU. None of these studies, however, has fully clarified the conditions under which this phenomenon takes place, nor provided any testable hypotheses on its empirical dynamics. This paper studies one case where secondary legislation was employed to extend a formal treaty-based competence (civilian research and technology policy) to an area that, for historical and strategic reasons, has always been a policy monopoly of national governments: research and technology development policy for security and defence. Through the analysis of a large pool of documentary data, I elaborate a set of linked hypotheses about the empirical dynamics of creeping competences, and show how the theory of incomplete contracting is best suited to explain this phenomenon.
Journal of European Integration, 2014, Vol 36, Issue 2, p. 135-151
EU policy-making; Creeping competences; Research policy; Security policy