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"Discretionary policy-making in the Commission: The politics of EU state aid control"

Cini, Michelle. (1997) "Discretionary policy-making in the Commission: The politics of EU state aid control". In: UNSPECIFIED, Seattle, WA. (Unpublished)

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    The premise upon which this paper is based is that the political input into state aid control is not only the preserve of the College of Commissioners in controversial and well-publicised high profile aid cases, but occurs (directly and indirectly via the medium of discretion) at many stages and in different ways within the Commission's state aid regime. It occurs directly through the many 'instances of discretion' that exist during the state aid decision-making process; and it occurs indirectly, through the self-imposed restriction of that discretion, that is, in the formulation of policy, through codified guidelines and the use of principles which serve as criteria during the decision-taking process. This paper explores the European Commission's capacity for supranational discretionary decision-taking through the lens of its state aid policy. It begins by introducing the state aid regime and by highlighting the inter-institutional autonomy of the Commission. It then charts the incidences of discretion that occur throughout the state aid decision-taking process, providing at the same time an introduction to the way in which such decisions are taken in this policy area. The paper then goes on to identify a separate Commission policy-making process, highlighting the Commission's use of guidelines which form the basis of its policy applied to individual decisions. The paper ends by addressing two sets of questions: on the interplay of discretion and criteria in the state aid regime on the one hand; and on the lessons to be learnt not just about state aid matters but also about the European Commission on the other?

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    Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (UNSPECIFIED)
    Subjects for non-EU documents: EU policies and themes > Policies & related activities > competition policy
    EU policies and themes > EU institutions & developments > European Commission
    EU policies and themes > EU institutions & developments > institutional development/policy > decision making/policy-making
    Subjects for EU documents: UNSPECIFIED
    EU Series and Periodicals: UNSPECIFIED
    EU Annual Reports: UNSPECIFIED
    Conference: European Union Studies Association (EUSA) > Biennial Conference > 1997 (5th), May 29-June 1, 1997
    Depositing User: Phil Wilkin
    Official EU Document: No
    Language: English
    Date Deposited: 14 Mar 2007
    Page Range: p. 38
    Last Modified: 15 Feb 2011 17:22

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