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"The European Commission's power: Overrated or Justified?"

Bailer, Stefanie. (2005) "The European Commission's power: Overrated or Justified?". In: UNSPECIFIED, Austin, Texas. (Unpublished)

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    For decades the bureaucratic and legislative power of the European Commission has interested scholars of EU studies. Yet, relatively little data are known about the exact division of power of the European Commission in legislative affairs apart from case studies (Cini, 2000; Schmidt, 2000). This paper presents analyses of qualitative and quantitative data to analyse how powerful some experts consider the Commission to be and to see how influential it actually is. Based on recently collected expert interviews I show that senior EU officials rate the Commission highly against other EU institutions and the member states. I contrast these results with the actual influence of the Commission on the legislative process. Using the data set "Decision Making in the European Union" (Thomson, Stokman, König, & Achen, 2005), which contains data on positions of EU member states and institutions in 60 legislative acts, I show the direct influence which the Commission exerts with its agenda setting and bureaucratic power. Multivariate analyses of 150 negotiation issues between the member states, the European Parliament and the European Commission demonstrate that the influence of the European Commission is overrated because it cannot defend its original proposal as much as intended. The more the Commission takes EU members positions into account, the more success it has in the EU negotiations. Thus, it functions rather as agent dependent on member states than as supranational entrepreneur.

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    Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (UNSPECIFIED)
    Subjects for non-EU documents: EU policies and themes > EU institutions & developments > European Commission
    EU policies and themes > EU institutions & developments > institutional development/policy > historical development of EC (pre-1986)
    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 > 2005 (9th), March 31-April 2, 2005
    Depositing User: Phil Wilkin
    Official EU Document: No
    Language: English
    Date Deposited: 29 Mar 2005
    Page Range: p. 25
    Last Modified: 15 Feb 2011 17:25

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