Source: p. 3 Top, The European Union: A Beginner's Guide (1 ed. 2012) by Alasdair Blair.

  [1.] For example, some member states, such as Britain, often adopt new EU rules with a greater zest than others, such as Greece, and implement policies at the national level that go beyond what is required from the EU. This process, which is referred to as 'gold-plating', can actually undermine efforts to harmonise policies at an EU level. [End of 1.]
These refinements to EU policies consequently result in additional costs for citizens and businesses that can put them at a competitive disadvantage when compared with other member states. And while a government may consider that there is a perfectly good reason for these additions, criticism can often be targeted towards the EU rather than the member state government at the time of implementation. [2.] In this context, Britain's lack of enthusiasm for many initiatives that deepen European integration belies the tendency for its officials and ministers to be extremely efficient in implementing these policies. [End of 2.] Other countries such as Italy and Spain can have a more high profile public commitment to European integration, but can drag their feet when it comes to implementation.

Why don't 1 and 2 contradict each other? If Britain despises EU initiatives (per 2), then instead of 1, shouldn't it adopt them with less zest?

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    Note that the lack of enthusiasm is for many initiatives that deepen European integration, not for all initiatives. That said, it seems like you are reading from the preface of a complete book, I would expect the author to justify these affirmations (hopefully, with a coherent analysis and not by cherrypicking examples) within the book itself. – SJuan76 Jun 24 '17 at 8:25
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    Countries like Greece simply have trouble carrying out their own decisions. What one part of the government decides can be ignored by another part or by civil servants on the ground. – Relaxed Jun 25 '17 at 21:37
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    The theme of this question is as old as King Arthur stories. If you believe in rule of law, you'll follow it even when it hurts; if the law doesn't suit your sense of justice, you'll be the first to want to change it -- or in this case, abandon it. Those nations that "adopt [EU initiatives] with less zest" won't feel such a pressing need to (officially) change them. – user15103 Jun 26 '17 at 18:18

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