Contact

Send us your feedback

Thank you for your feedback. An email has been sent to the ESRC support team.

An error occured whilst sending your feedback. Please review the problems below.

Our Research Catalogue contains grants and outputs data up until April/May 2014.

The Informal Politics of Co-Decision: Trilogues and Early Agreements in the EU's Legislative Procedure

Grant reference: RES-000-22-3661

« View grant details

Conference paper/presentation details

Codecision and its discontents : intra-organisational politics and institutional reform in the European Parliament
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 informalisation. First, we show how fast-track legislation has informalised legislative decision-making, transformed inter-organisational relations, and created 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 1) the extent of fast-track legislation reaches a critical level, and 2) the organisation goes through a period of wider reform; the former facilitates 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 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 intra-organisational politics and reform in the EP.
English

Primary contributor

Author Adrienne Héritier

Additional contributors

Co-author Christine Reh

Additional details

No
03 March 2011
Biennial conference of the European Union Studies Association
Boston, MA
12th
03 March 2011

Cite this outcome

Harvard

Héritier, Adrienne and Reh, Christine Codecision and its discontents : intra-organisational politics and institutional reform in the European Parliament. Biennial conference of the European Union Studies Association, 12th, Boston, MA, 2011.

Vancouver

Héritier Adrienne and Reh Christine. Codecision and its discontents : intra-organisational politics and institutional reform in the European Parliament. Biennial conference of the European Union Studies Association, 12th, Boston, MA, 2011.