COMITOLOGY CHOICES IN THE EU LEGISLATIVE PROCESS: CONTESTED OR CONSENSUAL DECISIONS?
Version of Record online: 22 JUL 2013
© 2013 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.
Volume 92, Issue 1, pages 55–70, March 2014
How to Cite
BLOM-HANSEN, J. (2014), COMITOLOGY CHOICES IN THE EU LEGISLATIVE PROCESS: CONTESTED OR CONSENSUAL DECISIONS?. Public Administration, 92: 55–70. doi: 10.1111/padm.12036
- Issue online: 24 MAR 2014
- Version of Record online: 22 JUL 2013
Studies show that the EU institutions have strong preferences with regard to the design of the EU comitology system which, consequently, is the result of intense inter-institutional negotiations. However, the exact choice of comitology procedure to install in a given legislative proposal has received much less scholarly attention. Based on a behavioural logic of control maximization, this article investigates the comitology preferences of the Commission, the Council, and the European Parliament in the legislative process. The findings from an analysis of all new directives and regulations in the years 1999–2006, a total of 686 acts, show that the Council seeks strict comitology control while the Commission and the Parliament both seek permissive control. This holds even though the legislative process is characterized by a high degree of agreement on comitology. The analysis indicates that this is because the actors strategically anticipate each other's preferences, not because there is a true alignment of preferences.