Community Research and Development Information Service - CORDIS


Governance by Committee, the Role of Committees in European Policy-Making and Policy Implementation, Final Report, EUR 21705

Project ID: HPSE-CT-1999-00019


In this research project on EC committees another picture of the European system of governance than the traditional one emerged. Undoubtedly, committees represent the most opaque and even secret aspect of European decision making that are commonly viewed as "Archipel Brussels", an ever growing swamp bringing forth a new political class of "Eurocrats" and "technocrats". Realising that despite the importance of committees in the European system of governance, there have been - at least until recently - very few empirical inquiries about how the system is structured, how it is functioning, what its output is and how it should be evaluated, we decided to explore this relatively uncharted territory.
In order to establish a conceptual framework, the most common theories of European integration and democratic government were studied. Raising the question of legitimacy and democracy we concluded that fusion theory and the concept of 'Europeanisation' by incremental participation proofed to be most useful in describing the committee system and that it could be characterised as a consensual power sharing system. The concept of deliberative supranationalism, however, provided the best frame of reference for the interpretation of our empirical findings.
Using documentary analysis, literature researches and interviewing, we analysed the standing committees of the European Parliament, working parties in Council and comitology committees.

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Record Number: 7294 / Last updated on: 2006-04-11
Category: MISC