Contested Delegation: The Impact of Co-decision on Comitology
Title: Contested Delegation: The Impact of Co-decision on Comitology
Citation: West European Politics, 2011, 34, 1, 145-166
This article shows that, for the area of environmental policy, the Commission and the Council have been more willing to rely on extensive delegation after the introduction of co-decision. It also shows that the tendency of these two actors to delegate has followed the ratification of the Amsterdam Treaty - which indicates that the Council and Commission had anticipated their relative loss of power to the EP and rushed to delegate as much as possible before the effective introduction of co-decision. However, the Council was only willing to delegate more to the Commission on condition that it could exert as much control as possible over the procedure by using regulatory committees. These empirical findings confirm a distributive institutionalist argument according to which the Council and the Commission, seeking to maximise their institutional power, would try to circumvent the EP through delegation when the latter's competences in legislation increase. The expectation, also based on this argument, that the EP would react to this behaviour by opposing delegation altogether was not confirmed: the EP, rather than opposing delegation as such, has systematically tried to restrict its scope.
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