Publication: "Leaking, leak prevention, and decoupling in public administrations: the case of the European Commission"
The article "Leaking, leak prevention, and decoupling in public administrations: the case of the European Commission" was published in the journal of "West European Politics".
The European Commission is frequently faced with leaks, much like other public administrations in Western democracies. While executive leaders often criticise the practice of leaking as an unwanted breach of confidentiality and secrecy, leak prevention is usually not taken seriously compared to the scale of the phenomenon. This article discusses leaking and leak prevention more broadly and analyses the efforts of the European Commission to prevent leaks. It finds that leaking and leak prevention were regularly discussed at the highest level of the EU’s executive between 2006 and 2015. However, few Commission officials have been sanctioned for leaking in that period, and mostly for leaks that appear unrelated to the substance of those discussed at the political level. This mismatch is explained by a decoupling of talk and action regarding leak prevention, allowing the European Commission and other public administrations to manage inconsistencies in competing internal and external demands for openness and confidentiality.
You will find a summary of the core findings on the blog of Dr. Patz.