This article examines the determinants of European Commission’s executive discretion and the impact of comitology when policy authority is delegated by Member States and the Parliament (i.e. principals) and all actors are uninformed about future contingencies. In such context, the Commission always prefers complete discretion while principals have to trade off the risk of agency losses with the need to give enough latitude to the Commission to deal with unexpected events. The analysis reveals a general trade-off in the Community institutional design. On the one hand, the Commission can enjoy high and stable discretion, differing across legislative procedures, degree of uncertainty and of preference convergence, because of its monopoly proposal power. On the other hand, comitology procedures impose burdensome constraints on the Commission’s autonomy and can be explained as a price for legislative intervention paid by the Commission. Finally, comitology procedures increase also the conflict across principals over the degree of discretion to grant to the Commission because the trade-off between ex-ante discretion and ex-post control can disappear with multiple principals.

Commission’s Executive Discretion, Information and Comitology / F. FRANCHINO. - In: JOURNAL OF THEORETICAL POLITICS. - ISSN 0951-6298. - 12:2(2000), pp. 155-181.

Commission’s Executive Discretion, Information and Comitology

F. FRANCHINO
Primo
2000

Abstract

This article examines the determinants of European Commission’s executive discretion and the impact of comitology when policy authority is delegated by Member States and the Parliament (i.e. principals) and all actors are uninformed about future contingencies. In such context, the Commission always prefers complete discretion while principals have to trade off the risk of agency losses with the need to give enough latitude to the Commission to deal with unexpected events. The analysis reveals a general trade-off in the Community institutional design. On the one hand, the Commission can enjoy high and stable discretion, differing across legislative procedures, degree of uncertainty and of preference convergence, because of its monopoly proposal power. On the other hand, comitology procedures impose burdensome constraints on the Commission’s autonomy and can be explained as a price for legislative intervention paid by the Commission. Finally, comitology procedures increase also the conflict across principals over the degree of discretion to grant to the Commission because the trade-off between ex-ante discretion and ex-post control can disappear with multiple principals.
Agency theory; European Community; Legislative procedures; Agency discretion; Comitology
Article (author)
File in questo prodotto:
Non ci sono file associati a questo prodotto.
Pubblicazioni consigliate

Caricamento pubblicazioni consigliate

I documenti in IRIS sono protetti da copyright e tutti i diritti sono riservati, salvo diversa indicazione.

Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/2434/33882
Citazioni
  • ???jsp.display-item.citation.pmc??? ND
  • Scopus 41
  • ???jsp.display-item.citation.isi??? 37
social impact