Cutting the national cord in European administrative law

From its inception, the academic study of EU administrative law (EAL) has relied heavily on doctrinal categories borrowed from national administrative laws. It has focused on issues such as the Europeanisation of national administrative laws, and the development of common principles of administrative law derived from them. EAL is sometimes also judged for its ability to function like national administrative laws.
These – certainly important – research agendas reflect a familiar paradox: that of the touch of stateness. While the existence of a European administration beyond the state is beyond dispute, legal doctrine tends to consider its legal problems, implicitly or explicitly, from the perspective of the administrative law of the nation-state.
The article considers, and proposes a methodological approach to address, the ways in which preconceptions and normative expectations originating in national law have conditioned, and indeed prevented, the deeper doctrinal development of EAL.