Pagoulatos, George and Blavoukos, Spyros and Bourantonis, Dimitris. (2005) "Continuity and Change in the post-Constitution EU Presidency: A New Actor in Town?". In: UNSPECIFIED, Austin, Texas. (Unpublished)
In the post-Constitution EU, the rotating Presidency has been replaced by a hybrid system combining a rotating component with the establishment of a permanent President for the European Council (and a Minister of Foreign Affairs). We examine how the new system came into being, the significant departure from past institutional arrangements and practices and most importantly the implications of such a development for the EU political order. The new system sets in place a new institutional actor; the question we address is whether this new institutional actor has the potential of evolving into an autonomous political actor as well. Using a principal-agent framework we look at the various functions of the President, the available resources, and the endogenous and exogenous parameters that will affect the President’s effectiveness and efficiency, with particular emphasis on the control mechanisms set up by member states to check the President’s actions. Our analysis suggests an unmistakable though by no means unconditional strengthening of the Presidency’s potential for an autonomous political role in the new EU constitutional architecture.
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