Annual Work Conference 2009 of the Netherlands Institute of Government edition:5 location:Leiden date:12-13 November 2009
In the post-liberalization area, utility companies operate in a context of multilevel regulation, involving a wide set of authorities with general or sector-based competencies. Such a specialization in the regulatory arrangement could potentially generate overlaps, blind spots and lack of effectiveness. This paper tries to temper these predictions and shows that coordination mechanisms drastically limit overlaps and blind spots in multi-level regulatory arrangements, because these mechanisms compensate for the dispersion of competences between multiple levels and authorities caused by specialization.
By constructing a typology of coordination instruments, this paper aims to identify what instruments contribute towards avoiding overlaps and blind spots. The empirical analysis is based on a comparison of two utility sectors, energy and telecommunications, from a single-country perspective. These two sectors have a substantial amount of regulatory actors involved in them, and the arising coordination needs are captured by on the one hand procedural coordination mechanisms, on the other hand structural coordination mechanisms.