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European Policymaking: An Agency-Theoretic Analysis of the Issue

Dieter Schmidtchen and Bernard Steunenberg ()
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Dieter Schmidtchen: Universität des Saarlandes

No 2002-1-1040, German Working Papers in Law and Economics from Berkeley Electronic Press

Abstract: In various European legal acts the Council has delegated power to the Commission to set common policy, conditional on specific procedural requirements, which are commonly known as "comitology". In this paper we analyse whether and how far these implementation procedures help to overcome a dilemma of delegation, which arises if (a) a principal and an agent have conflicting interests and (b) the principal, due to the structure of the principal-agent relationship, cannot perfectly control the agent (structure-induced agent discretion).

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