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Codecision and its discontents: Intra-organisational politics and institutional reform in the European Parliament

Heritier, Adrienne and Reh, Christine (2011) Codecision and its discontents: Intra-organisational politics and institutional reform in the European Parliament. [Conference Proceedings] (Submitted)

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    This paper investigates a recent trend in EU legislative politics: the de facto shift of decision making from public inclusive to informal secluded arenas, and the subsequent adoption of legislation at first reading. Previous research has explained why fast-track legislation occurs and evaluated its democratic consequences. This study focuses on how the EP has responded to the steep increase in informal and fast-tracked legislation. First, we show how fast-track legislation has informalised legislative decision-making, transformed inter-organisational relations, and created new asymmetrical opportunities and constraints. Second, we theorise the political discontents in response to this transformation. Drawing on rational choice institutionalism and bargaining theory, we argue, first, that actors will seek to redress asymmetrical opportunities through institutional reform; that attempts of redress will centre on the control of negotiation authority and information flows; and that institutional reform will be highly contested. Second, we suggest that the chances of successful redress will be low in the EP as a decentralised organisation unless two conditions are met: 1) the extent of fast-track legislation reaches a critical level, and 2) the organisation goes through a period of wider reform; the former will facilitate reform through the increased visibility of disempowerment and reputational costs; the latter through package deals in a multi-issue negotiation space, and/or the strategic evocation of collective parliamentary norms. Third, we probe our argument by analysing how the EP’s rules pertaining to codecision have been contested, negotiated and reformed from the introduction of fast-track legislation in 1999 to the adoption of the Code of Conduct for Negotiating Codecision Files in 2009. Based on qualitative document analysis and semi-structured elite interviews, our paper offers a first systematic analysis of how fast-track legislation has impacted on intraorganisational politics and reform in the EP.

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    Item Type: Conference Proceedings
    Subjects for non-EU documents: EU policies and themes > EU institutions & developments > European Parliament
    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
    Depositing User: Phil Wilkin
    Official EU Document: No
    Language: English
    Date Deposited: 01 Nov 2019 10:28
    Number of Pages: 37
    Last Modified: 01 Nov 2019 10:28

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