Author: Anne Rasmussen Date: 21 May 2013 Journal article
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The Informal Politics of Co-Decision: Trilogues and Early Agreements in the EU's Legislative Procedure
- Start date: 25 August 2009
- End date: 24 May 2012
This project investigates a widespread yet under-studied trend in European politics: the shift of legislative decision-making from public inclusive to informal secluded arenas. Between 1999 and mid-2007 alone, 43 per cent of EU legislation was pre-agreed informally between the European Parliament and the Council of Ministers and adopted at first reading, with the legislative procedure ("co-decision") abridged or "fast-tracked" accordingly.
This development is puzzling: while co-decision was introduced to make EU decision-making more inclusive, accountable and transparent, the procedure has instead increased informalisation and seclusion from the electorate as well as rank-and-file parliamentarians. Against this backdrop, the project pursues three goals.
- Understand the extent and conduct of informal politics, it surveys and categorises all co-decision files from 1999 to mid-2009 and charts how the formal rules of co-decision are applied in the political praxis.
- Explain why fast-track legislation occurs, it derives hypotheses from rational choice and sociological institutionalism and submits them to two tests: a multivariate regression analysis of all surveyed acts and comparative case studies, based on in-depth interviews and qualitative document analysis.
- Evaluate the democratic consequences of fast-track legislation, it evaluates these empirical results against standards of legitimate decision-making.
Given the general trend towards informal and accelerated decision-making in domestic and global politics, the findings are relevant for scholars of Comparative Politics and International Relations; they also address a question of key strategic and normative importance for the Brussels policy-community.
Author: Christine Reh Date: 21 May 2013 Conference paper/presentation
Speaker: Christine Reh Date: 29 August 2012 Video
Author: Adrienne Héritier Date: 23 August 2012 Journal article
Author: Christine Reh Date: 20 August 2012 Book chapter
Author: Christine Reh Date: 11 August 2012 Journal article
Author: Lukas Obholzer Date: 11 August 2012 Other publication/report
Author: Adrienne Héritier Date: 11 August 2012 Conference paper/presentation
Author: Adrienne Heritier Date: 23 September 2010 Conference paper/presentation
Author: Christine Reh Date: 22 September 2010 Conference paper/presentation