In its most generic depiction, European governance is a multi-level process (or game), beginning at what is symbolically perceived as ‘Brussels’, and ending at the street implementation level of every member state, before turning back again to policy-makers for evaluation and reformulation. Thus, while the formulation stage of European policy is shaped predominantly by the institutional and political forces acting at the supranational level, the implementation stage is crucially defined by those operating in the national policy arenas. The unique constitution of each one of those national policy arenas accounts for considerable cross-country dissimilarity of both policy outcomes and domestic governance patterns (Hall 1995:22-26). Though trivial, the above remark is useful in refocusing welldeserved attention on the implementation stage of European policy, where national politico-institutional dynamics are prominent (e.g. Unger and van Waarden 1995: 28). Implementation of European policy at the member state level constitutes a distinct procedural unity subject to the traditional ‘stages’ breakdown into agenda setting, formulation and implementation (Anderson 1979; Hogwood and Gunn 1984; Peters 1986).