When the member states of the European Union (EU) accepted the Defence and Security Procurement Directive, the expectation was that they would be able to retain a substantial amount of autonomy. During the implementation process, however, the members accepted the European Commission as a legitimate authority on how the Directive should be implemented. In this light, member states changed one specific policy issue, not addressed in the Directive: their offset policy. Addressing the role of the Commission in the Common Security and Defence Policy, this paper analyses three separate cases and finds that a cost benefit analysis cannot explain why these member states complied with non-legally binding Guidance Notes issued by the Commission. The paper also explores the role of national civil servants seeking rule consistency and finds they acknowledged the authority of the Commission in prescribing new rules.
Unexpected compliance? The implementation of the Defence and Security Procurement Directive