Research project

Measuring and Comparing the Europeanization of National Legislation

Headed by:
Prof. Dr. Annette Elisabeth Töller
Project Status:

Short description

Not least the German Constitutional Court’s case concerning the Treaty of Lisbon demonstrated the urgent need for a method to measure the Europeanization of national legislation. More specifically, this concerns quantifying the breadth and width of the influence that European politics exert on national legislation. The lion’s share of extant studies on Europeanization was of a qualitative nature. While such (comparative) case studies have generated valuable insights into the nature of Europeanization, they hone in on a handful of specific cases and thus remain limited in their scope.

The national public debate as well as parts of the scientific discussion on the extent, i.e., the breadth and depth national legislation is influenced by European politics, is dominated by the so-called 80-percent-myth: In 1988 the President of the Commission had prophesied in the European Parliament “10 years hence, 80 percent of our economic legislation, and perhaps even our fiscal and social legislation, will be of Community origin” (EG-Bulletin No. 2-367/157, 6 July 1988). Since this prediction has (falsely) been interpreted as an assertion many times (at the German Federal Constitutional Court, BVerfGE 89, 155, among others), the lack of a reliable method to measure European influence on the legislation of member states has become apparent. So far, a multitude of country studies has been conducted. Each of these studies is more or less worthy of criticism, but as a whole they capture the extent of Europeanization only very superficially and incompletely, especially since their comparability is lacking.

This research project aims to develop a bespoke method and apply it to selected policy fields in a series of selected countries.


Expert opinions and blog entries

Annette Elisabeth Töller. 2015. Brief Comment on Business for Britain (2015): “7% or 75%? The definite answer to the EU’s influence over British Law”. FernUniversität in Hagen. Link.

Annette Elisabeth Töller. 2014. Europäisierung der deutschen Gesetzgebung. Wissenschaftliches Kurzgutachten. FernUniversität in Hagen. Download (PDF 311kb, German).

Annette Elisabeth Töller. 2012. Claims that 80 per cent of laws adopted in the EU Member States originate in Brussels actually tell us very little about the impact of EU policy-making. LSE EUROPP – European Politics and Policy blog. Link.


Annette Elisabeth Töller. 2012. Concepts of Causality in Quantitative Approaches to Europeanization, in: Claudio Radaelli and Theofanis Exadactylos (eds.): Establishing Causality in Europeanization Research. London: Palgrave Macmillan, 44-63.

Annette Elisabeth Töller. 2010. Measuring and Comparing the Europeanization of Public Policies. Journal of Common Market Studies, 48/1, 413-440.

Annette Elisabeth Töller. 2008. Mythen und Methoden. Zur Messung der Europäisierung der Gesetzgebung des Deutschen Bundestages jenseits des 80%-Mythos, in: Zeitschrift für Parlamentsfragen, 39/1, 3-17.