Changing Rules of Delegation A Contest for Power in Comitology

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  • Format: Hardcover
  • Copyright: 2013-04-05
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press

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With each legislative issue, legislators have to decide whether to delegate decision-making to the executive and/or to expert bodies in order to flesh out the details of this legislation, or, alternatively, to spell out all aspects of this decision in legislation proper. The reasons why to delegate have been of prime interest to political science. The debate has concentrated on principal-agent theory to explain why politicians delegate decision-making to bureaucrats, to independent regulatory agencies, and to others actors and how to control these agents. By contrast, Changing Rules of Delegation focuses on these questions: Which actors are empowered by delegation? Are executive actors empowered over legislative actors? How do legislative actors react to the loss of power? What opportunities are there to change the institutional rules governing delegation in order to (re)gain institutional power and, with it influence over policy outcomes? The authors analyze the conditions and processes of change of the rules that delegate decision-making power to the Commission's implementing powers under comitology. Focusing on the role of the European Parliament the authors explain why the Commission, the Council, and increasingly the Parliament, delegated decision-making to the Commission. If they chose delegation, they still have to determine under which institutional rule comitology should operate. These rules, too, distribute power unequally among actors and therefore raise the question of how they came about in the first place and whether and how the "losers" of a rule change seek to alter the rules at a later point in time.

Author Biography

Adrienne Heritier's research and publications extend to theories of institutional change, institutional change in the European Union, comparative public policy, European policy making, Europeanization, regulation, and new modes of governance. Recent relevant publications are Explaining Institutional Change in Europe, Oxford University Press 2007; (With H.Farrell) Contested Competences in Europe: Incomplete Contracts and Interstitial Institutional Change, West European Politics, Special Issue 2007; (with Catherine Moury) Contested Delegation: The Impact of Codecision on Comitology, West European Politics 2011. She holds a Joint Chair of Political Science in the Department of Political and Social Science and the Robert-Schuman-Center for Advanced Studies at the at the European University Institute in Florence.

Catherine Moury got her PhD in Italy (Siena University, 2005). She is an Advanced Research Fellow at CIES IUL and Guest Assistant Professor at Lisbon University Institute and the New University of Lisbon. Her research focuses on institutional change in the European Union and on coalition governments. She is the author of Coalition Government and Party Mandate: How Coalition Agreements Constrain Ministerial Action (Routledge, 2012).

Carina Bischof concerns herself with a study of delegated legislation in the EU from 1973-2007. The study aims to find reasons for variation in delegated legislation over time and across different fields with the help of principal-agent theory and theories on strategic institutional interaction. She is Associate Professor, Department of Political Science, University of Copenhagen.

Carl Fredrik Bergstrom has a Degree of from Stockholm University Law School (1994) and Diploma in European Law from University of Birmingham (1993). After expert assignment by the Swedish Bar Association he was employed at Stockholm University Law Faculty combined with admittance to the research student-programme at European University Institute in Florence (1995-2002). He got a Degree of from Stockholm University (2003) and promotion to Docent at Stockholm University (2005). He has worked as a Senior Researcher at SIEPS, the Swedish Institute for European Policy Studies (2002-2009), and was appointed as Acting/Deputy Director (2005/2009). He is Professor of European Law at Uppsala University (2010-).

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