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Comitology between Political Decision-Making and Technocratic Governance: Regulating GMOs in the European Union

Christiansen, Thomas and Polak, Josine. (2009) Comitology between Political Decision-Making and Technocratic Governance: Regulating GMOs in the European Union. EIPAScope, 2009 (1). p. 7.

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    Abstract

    The EU’s comitology system is generally considered to be an effective mechanism for facilitating efficient policy implementation while at the same time ensuring a degree of Member State control over the process. However, if this assessment is applicable to most areas of routine decision-making, the regulation of GMO authorizations by the European Commission, which also falls under comitology, presents a markedly different picture. The article shows the particular problems that occur in this field, outlining the involvement of a number of different actors (comitology committees, Council, European Commission and the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) and their interaction in what has become a complex and protracted policy process. The articles identifies a number of key issues – the reliance of the Commission on EFSA’s scientific expertise, the weakness of political accountability due to divisions among the Member States, the difficulties of the European Commission to achieve compliance with European and international rules – and discusses the impact that these have on the legitimacy, efficiency and effectiveness of policy-making in this area. The article concludes that, due to the problems arising from the particular arrangement of interests and procedures in this area, the operation of comitology in the regulation of GMOs is highly problematic.

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    Item Type: Article
    Subjects for non-EU documents: EU policies and themes > Policies & related activities > political affairs > governance: EU & national level
    EU policies and themes > Policies & related activities > agriculture policy
    EU policies and themes > EU institutions & developments > institutional development/policy > decision making/policy-making
    Subjects for EU documents: UNSPECIFIED
    EU Series: UNSPECIFIED
    ["eprint_fieldname_eusries" not defined]: UNSPECIFIED
    EU Annual Reports: UNSPECIFIED
    Series: Journals > European Institute of Public Administration (Maastricht) > EIPASCOPE
    Depositing User: Phil Wilkin
    Official EU Document: No
    Language: English
    Date Deposited: 20 Jan 2010
    Page Range: p. 7
    Last Modified: 15 Feb 2011 18:20
    URI: http://aei.pitt.edu/id/eprint/12374

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