The Rationale behind Committee Assignment in the European Parliament: Distributive, Informational and Partisan Perspectives
Title: The Rationale behind Committee Assignment in the European Parliament: Distributive, Informational and Partisan Perspectives
Author: YORDANOVA, Nikoleta
Citation: European Union Politics, 2009, 10, 2, 253-280.
ISSN: 1465-1165 (print); 1741-2757 (online)
Although most of the legislative tasks of the European Parliament(EP) are performed in its committees, it is controversial how representative they are of the overall plenary. Distributive, informational and partisan theories suggest respectively that the committee assignments system is designed to (1) serve special interests outside the EP, (2) bring informational benefits to the plenary or (3) promote partisan interests. These propositions are examined via a representative sample of committees using an original data set of MEPs' profiles in the 6th European Parliament. The results show that, whereas information-driven committees attract mainly MEPs with relevant expertise, homogeneous special interests influence assignments to interest-driven and mixed committees, turning them into preference outlying committees. However, partisan considerations do not appear to influence individual assignments strategically.
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