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Institutional polymorphism: the designing of the European Food Safety Authority with regard to the European Medicines Agency

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This paper looks at the formation and designing of the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA). It seeks to assess the reality of institutional isomorphism in the European Union. It does so by analysing why references were made during the formation of the EFSA to the European Medicines Agency (EMEA), and the active differentiation of its design by actors involved in the process. The paper argues that institutional design is the encounter between a political decision to create an agency and the norms and practices that constitute sector-specific regulatory regimes. Institutional design across sectors derives from the same institutional principles, but detailed rules and structures eventually differ because they reflect the prevailing conception of the job of the future agency, such as assessing risks or approving products, which substantiate and legitimize the decision to establish it.

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en

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application/pdf

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http://eprints.lse.ac.uk/36534/1/Disspaper50.pdf

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