The complexity of its laws and regulations has repeatedly been identified as one of the key challenges facing the European Union (EU). Both among EU scholars and practitioners, it is well recognized that the complexity of EU law not only implies enormous managerial challenges for those in power and their bureaucracies, but also involves significant cognitive burdens on the public. Yet, how can we distinguish rather simple from more complex policy content empirically? How can we explain variance of policy complexity across issue areas and time? And how does this complexity matter for political processes in the EU and the Member States?
The Emmy Noether Research Group "EUPLEX - Coping with Policy Complexity in the European Union", led by Dr. Steffen Hurka at LMU Munich, addresses these important questions. On this website, you can find information about the project, the research team, current publications and data. Feel free to contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org for any further questions or ideas for cooperation.
"On 8 June 1993 the Council passed a resolution on the quality of drafting of Community legislation, with 'the general objective of making Community legislation more accessible'. However, the Council did not succeed in drafting that resolution in plain language."
2023-05-03 2023 Conferences
The EUPLEX team will be presenting papers at the following conferences in 2023:
Annual Meeting of the Section Methods of Political Science (DVPW), Göttingen, May 5-6
2023 Annual Conference of the European Political Science Association, Glasgow, June 23-25
Twenty-Ninth International Conference of Europeanists, Reykjavik, June 27-29
2023-01-15 New EUPLEX dataset version
We have released a new version of the EUPLEX dataset. This update adds a variable containing information on whether a procedure is included in the EUR-Lex procedure search following a EUR-Lex update that removed many procedures from the search index (see this tweet for more information). Head over to the dataset page to download the new version.
2022-12-21 New project publication in European Union Politics
"Proposal complexity and report allocation in the European Parliament" by Steffen Hurka, Maximilian Haag and Constantin Kaplaner is out now (online first) in European Union Politics. The paper analyzes the conditioning influence of policy complexity on rapporteur appointment in the European Parliament. Find the paper on our publications page.
2022-09-22 New project publication in the European Journal of Political Research
"The institutional and political roots of complex policies: Evidence from the European Union" by Steffen Hurka is out now (online first) in the European Journal of Political Research. Find more details on the paper on our publications page.
2022-02-04 2022 Conference confirmations
So far, the EUPLEX team is confirmed to present papers at these upcoming conferences in 2022:
11th Biennial Conference of the SGEU, Luiss University, 8 – 10 June 2022
2022 Annual Conference of the European Political Science Association, Prague, June 23-25
Further information regarding our presentations will be added here once available.
2021-06-30 New magazine article in 'Die Volkswirtschaft'
A new magazine article (in German) by Steffen Hurka in Swiss economy magazine 'Die Volkswirtschaft' has just been published. The article provides a short overview of the research in the EUPLEX project and a high-level descriptive analysis of the evolution of the complexity of policy proposals in the EU from 1994 - 2020. You can find the article on the magazine's website.
2021-06-11 EUPLEX dataset release and forthcoming JEPP paper
We are happy to announce the first release of the EUPLEX dataset. The dataset provides information on legislative procedures in the EU and on the complexity of more than 6,000 policy proposals initiated by the European Commission. We will update the dataset in regular intervals to include recent legislative procedures and texts. You can download the current version and find additional technical information as well as the codebook on our dataset page.
The dataset will be formally introduced in a forthcoming paper in the Journal of European Public Policy (see our publications) containing additional information on the measures and our concept of policy complexity in the EU.
2021-03-04 2021 Conference confirmations
The EUPLEX team will present papers at these upcoming conferences in 2021:
EPSA Virtual 24-25 June 2021
ICPP5 Hybrid 5-9 July 2021
In addition, we will host a panel at the
ECPR Standing Group on the European Union Virtual Conference 10-12 June 2021
Further information regarding our presentations and the panel will be added here once available.
2020-10-01 New project researcher
As of today, Constantin Kaplaner joins the EUPLEX team as a doctoral researcher. We are happy to welcome him back to Munich and are looking forward to work with him. Find out more about Constantin in our team section.
2020-08-24 Paper presentation at the virtual ECPR General Conference 2020
Max Haag will present the paper "Explaining bargaining success in informal trilogues in the European Union" at the upcoming virtual ECPR General Conference 2020 of the European Consortium for Political Research (ECPR) on on 26 August 2020, 10.30 BST (11.30 CEST) as part of the panel on "Coalition Governance in Europe". Find out more in the ECPR GC 2020 academic programme.
2020-07-02 New project publication in the Journal of Common Market Studies
"Legal Instrument Choice in the European Union" by Steffen Hurka and Yves Steinebach is out now (online first) in the Journal of Common Market Studies. The paper explores the determinants of legal instrument choice by the European Commission. Find more details on the paper on our publications page.
2020-02-11 Paper presentation at the EPSA 2020 Annual Conference in Prague
Steffen Hurka and Max Haag will present the paper "The evolution of policy complexity in the European Union" at the 10th Annual Conference of the European Political Science Association (EPSA) in Prague, 18-20 June 2020.
Update: The 2020 EPSA Annual Conference has been moved online. The conference paper presentation by Steffen Hurka and Max Haag is scheduled to take place on 18 June 2020, 16.00 UTC+01:00 as part of the EU politics panel session 2. For more information as well as the program schedule, please see the EPSA website.
Update 2: Find our presentation slides on our publications page and join the virtual conference presentation live via Zoom on 18 June 2020, 16.00 UTC+01:00.
2020-02-05 Panel "Coping with Policy Complexity in the European Union" at the ECPR Standing Group on the European Union
Steffen Hurka will chair a panel on "Coping with Policy Complexity in the European Union" at the ECPR Standing Group on the European Union, which takes place at Luiss University in Rome, 3-6 June 2020. The panel is part of the "Institutional and Procedural Dynamics in EU Decision-making" section. Find out more on the ECPR website.
Update: The 2020 ECPR Standing Group on the European Union has been cancelled.
2019-10-01 New project researcher
Maximilian Haag officially joins the project as a doctoral researcher. For the next three years, Max will be a part of the EUPLEX team and write his dissertation on decision-making in the EU at LMU Munich. The team welcomes him and wishes him good luck!
2019-08-12 Project presentation in EU Research
A new article summarizing the project’s objectives is out now in the EU Research magazine. Find it on Issuu.
2019-07-10 New project publication in European Union Politics
"Policy complexity and legislative duration in the European Union" by Steffen Hurka and Maximilian Haag is out now (online first) in European Union Politics. The paper analyzes the influence of policy complexity on the duration of the decision-making process in the EU. Find the paper and replication data on our publications page and an accompanying blog post on the LSE EUROPP blog.
2019-07-01 New project student assistant
Nelly Keusch joins the project as a Student Assistant. For the next months, Nelly will help lay the foundations for the project to run efficiently.
2019-04-01 Project start
As of today, the DFG-funded EUPLEX project is officially up and running! For the next years, Dr. Hurka and colleagues will be busy collecting, evaluating and analyzing data on policy complexity in the EU.
EUPLEX receives funding from the German Research Foundation (Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft) through the Emmy Noether program. Details can be found on the DFG Gepris website.