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Legislate or Delegate? Bargaining over Implementation and Legislative Authority in the European Union

Carl-Fredrik Bergström, Henry Farrell and Adrienne Héritier

No 42, EUI-RSCAS Working Papers from European University Institute (EUI), Robert Schuman Centre of Advanced Studies (RSCAS)

Abstract: In this article we explain how actors' ability to bargain successfully in order to advance their institutional preferences has changed over time as a function of the particular institutional context. We show how actors use their bargaining power under given institutional rules in order to shift the existing balance between legislation and delegation, and shift the rules governing delegation in their favor, between formal treaty changes. We argue that a collective actor's preferences over delegation is a function of whether the actor has more ability to influence policy through delegation or through legislation. We go on to argue that the degree to which a specific actor's preferences can prevail (in a setting in which different actors have different preferences) will depend upon its bargaining power under existing institutional rules, i.e. its ability to impede or veto policy in order to change the division between legislation and delegation and the rules of delegation. Our primary focus in this article is on choice over procedure; i.e. the battles over whether or not delegation or legislation should be employed. We maintain a secondary focus on change in procedure, examining how different procedures of comitology have come into being and been removed from the table. We examine the evolution of the debate over comitology and implementation, over five key periods. We scrutinize how actors within these periods seek to shift the balance of legislation and delegation and the rules of delegation according to their preferences. Our conclusions assess our empirical findings on the basis of our model.

Keywords: accountability; European Commission; Council of Ministers; European Parliament; European Parliament (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2006-12-15
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-cdm, nep-eec and nep-reg
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