Controlling the EU Executive?: The Politics of Delegation in the European Union

ISBN : 9780198767909

Jens Blom-Hansen
224 Pages
156 x 234 mm
Pub date
Oct 2017
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Every year the EU Commission issues thousands of rules based on powers delegated by the Council of Ministers and the European Parliament. But delegation is carefully controlled. Traditionally, control has been exerted through a system of committees of member state representatives ('comitology'). However, this system was contested by the European Parliament which was left without any influence. The Lisbon Treaty introduced a new control regime for delegated powers, the so-called delegated acts system, which was meant to supplement the existing system. The new system involves direct control by the Council of Ministers and the European Parliament and thus for the first time gave the European Parliament real influence over delegated powers. However, the choice over which delegation regime to use in practice has turned into one of the most vehement institutional conflicts in the EU political system. This book represents the first comprehensive investigation of this conflict. It does so by a combination of methods and data, including process-tracing of the introduction of the new system in the Lisbon Treaty, case studies of selected post-Lisbon delegation situations, and statistical analysis of datasets comprising hundreds of post-Lisbon legislative files.


1 Introduction
2 Theorizing Delegation and Control Regimes in the EU
3 Institutional Contestation of Delegation in the EU over Time
4 The Battle over the Lisbon Treaty's Two Control Regimes: Getting the Delegated Acts and Implementing Acts Regimes in Place
5 Institutional Preferences on the Post-Lisbon Control Regimes: Qualitative Evidence
6 Institutional Preferences on the Post-Lisbon Control Regimes: Quantitative Evidence
7 Explaining Choices of Delegation and Control Regimes
8 Conclusion and the Way Ahead

About the author: 

Gijs Jan Brandsma is Assistant Professor in European Union Politics and Administration at Utrecht University. His research focuses on institutional developments and decision-making in the European Union, and in particular on the workings of political and administrative arrangements 'behind the scenes': committees, expert groups, regulatory networks, and trilogues. His publications include Controlling Comitology (Palgrave, 2013).; Jens Blom-Hansen is Professor of Public Administration at the Department of Political Science, Aarhus University. His research interests lie at the intersection of EU studies, intergovernmental relations, and public administration. He has published a large number of articles and books on these topics including the EU comitology system, the optimal size of local jurisdictions, public budgeting, and the use of experimental methods in public administration research.

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