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Impact (The) of Enlargement on Comitology Committees: A New Role for the Commission?
EU-CONSENT Occasional Paper no. 2
by Sonia Piedrafita
Maastricht, November 2007

The arrival of the new member states has made little difference to the way in which decisions are taken, nor indeed to the ability of the comitology system to achieve outcomes. However, the changes taking place in the implementation committees seem to increase somehow the executive discretion of the Commission. This paper looks into the extent to which the function of the implementing committees as a tool to control the Commission when exercising its delegated powers by the national representatives is losing relevance after enlargement, with the Commission gaining capacity to influence the policy outcomes in ways that depart from the preferences of the member governments.

  • Introduction
  • A. The Analytical Framework
    • The principal-agent theory applied to comitology
    • Rationalist and Sociological Institutionalism
  • B. The Implementation Committees After Enlargement
    • The learning process of the newcomers
    • Group dynamics
    • The work and procedures of the committees
  • C. A New Role For The Commission?
    • The executive discretion of the Commission
    • The formal and informal agenda-setting powers
  • Concluding Remarks and Future Challenges


Download /library/papers/Paper02-2007_Piedrafita.pdf