A Not So Technocratic Executive?

In a new West European Politics article, Morten Egeberg, Åse Gornitzka and Jarle Trondal examine the daily interaction between the European Commission and the European Parliament. In addition to formal control instruments, they observe an almost symbiotic, less visible, routine relationship between the two institutions.

The European Commission (Photo: Colourbox.com)

Morten Egeberg, Åse Gornitzka and Jarle Trondal's article 'A Not So Technocratic Executive? Everyday Interaction between the European Parliament and the Commission' was published as the very first article of West European Politics in 2014.

Abstract

The European Commission, although generally portrayed as a technocratic, non-majoritarian institution, or as an agent of EU member governments, has become increasingly linked to the European Parliament (EP) through a range of semi-parliamentary measures intended to increase the executive’s legitimacy and accountability. In this article we argue that in addition to several highly visible and often treaty-based control instruments, an almost symbiotic, less visible, routine relationship can be observed between the two institutions.

Based on an online survey of EP staff, as well as on minutes from EP committee meetings, this article examines the daily interaction taking place between the Commission and the EP, particularly at the level of officials. Although mutual interdependence in the legislative process may trigger daily interaction, the theoretical argument proposed is that the latter is facilitated and reinforced under two particular conditions: (i) if the two institutions share similar organisational patterns, and (ii) if they share similar behavioural patterns. Three such patterns are emphasised: sectoral, ideological and supranational.

Full info

Morten Egeberg, Åse Gornitzka and Jarle Trondal
'A Not So Technocratic Executive? Everyday Interaction between the European Parliament and the Commission'

West European Politics, Vol 37, No 1, pp. 1-18
DOI: 10.1080/01402382.2013.832952

Published Jan. 7, 2014 12:25 PM - Last modified Apr. 9, 2014 11:30 AM