Legislate or Delegate? Bargaining over Implementation and Legislative Authority in the EU
Title: Legislate or Delegate? Bargaining over Implementation and Legislative Authority in the EU
Citation: West European Politics, 2007, 30, 2, 338-366
This article explains how actors’ ability to bargain successfully in order to advance their institutional preferences has changed over time as a function of the particular institutional context. Actors use their bargaining power under given institutional rules in order to shift the existing balance between legislation and delegation, and shift the rules governing delegation in their favour between formal treaty changes. A collective actor’s preferences over delegation is a function of whether the actor has more ability to influence policy through delegation or through legislation. The degree to which a specific actor’s preferences can prevail (in a setting in which different actors have different preferences) will depend upon its bargaining power under existing institutional rules, i.e. its ability to impede or veto policy in order to change the division between legislation and delegation and the rules of delegation. The primary focus in this article is on choice over procedure, i.e. the battles over whether or not delegation or legislation should be employed. A secondary focus is on change in procedure. The article examines the evolution of the debate over comitology and implementation over five key periods and scrutinises how actors within these periods have sought to shift the balance of legislation and delegation and the rules of delegation according to their preferences.
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