This article examines the outcome of the EU policy process from various comparative perspectives in an effort to distinguish the "net effects" of EU membership and EU-level regimes from more general - perhaps global - processes of change. It argues that the major features of liberalization would have been diffused to most if not all member states even in the absence of the European Commission, other agents of supranationalism, and EU-level intergovernmental commitment to liberalize. This is not to suggest that Europeanization does not matter but that it matters in less obvious and perhaps in less critical ways than is frequently assumed. The argument is supported by comparative empirical analysis of the spatial and temporal diffusion of liberalization since the 1980s and of nationalization since the late 19th century.
- Regulatory reforms