Enforcement tool or strategic instrument? The initiation of ex-post legislative evaluations by the European Commission

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Series Details Vol.18, No.4, December 2017, p640–657
Publication Date December 2017
ISSN 1465-1165
Content Type


Whereas the European Commission officially intends to periodically evaluate all major European Union legislation in force, in practice it only evaluates a minority of major regulations and directives. This article tries to explain the variation in the initiation of such ex-post legislative evaluations by the Commission with the help of two theoretical motives: an enforcement motive and a strategic motive.

Based on two novel datasets and binary logistic regression analysis, the results show that the type and complexity of the legislation, the presence of an evaluation clause and the evaluation capacity of the responsible Directorates-General enhance the chances of evaluation. These findings indicate that ex-post legislative evaluations are at least partly driven by the Commission's need to enforce legislation.

Source Link http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/1465116517725901
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