National officials working in international bureaucracies regularly invokes the fear that member-states strategically use such officials for influencing decision-making and agenda-setting to their advantage. This article first theoretically analyses conditions under which the independence of national civil servants in international bureaucracies might become compromised. The ensuing predictions are then tested using a unique survey among Seconded National Experts (SNEs) in the European Commission (N ≈ 400). Finally, evaluating the characteristics linked to reduced independence among SNEs in the Commission, the article illustrates that these officials are in practice likely to be relatively independent from member-state influence.
Trondal, Jarle, Zuzana Murdoch and Benny Geys. 2015. “On Trojan Horses and revolving doors: assessing the autonomy of national officials in the European Commission.” European Journal of Political Research, 54(2): 249-270