Haege, Frank (2009) Politicizing Council decision-making: The effect of EP empowerment. In: UNSPECIFIED. (Unpublished)
Research on the intra-institutional consequences of differences in the EU’s inter-institutional rule configurations is rare. This study investigates the effect of the empowerment of the European Parliament (EP) on the active involvement of ministers in Council decision-making. I argue that the empowerment of the EP increases the incentives for bureaucrats in the Council’s preparatory bodies to refer decisions on legislative dossiers to ministers. The empirical analysis examines this argument with data on more than 6000 legislative decision-making processes that were concluded between 1980 and the end of 2007. The analysis demonstrates a strong and robust association between the type of legislative procedure and different decision-making levels in the Council: a more powerful EP leads to more politicized Council decision-making. In terms of the legitimacy of EU decision-making, this finding implies that empowering the EP does not only create a direct link between EU lawmaker and ordinary citizens, but also contributes to strengthening the indirect link between Council members and their national electorates.
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