Institutional challenges in the European Union

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Publication Date 2002
ISBN 0-415-25192-3
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Book abstract:

This work seeks to answer some of the questions currently being posed as to the future of decision-making in the EU, and in doing so raises some highly relevant and contingent issues.

The book is organised in three parts. Part one has four chapters which in turn look at challenges facing selected EU institutions. Chapter one examines the challenges to the composition and functioning of the European Commission and explores the potential for improving its efficiency and accountability. The European Parliament is the focus of the second chapter, which assesses the role of the EP in appointing the members of the European Commission and particularly its President. Chapter three explores the interaction between the Council of the EU and the European Court of Justice. The following chapter examines the effects of enlargement on efficiency and coalition formation in the Council of the EU in the light of the new vote allocations.

Part two of the work turns to inter-institutional dynamics in the EU, and chapter five focuses on the effects that procedures have on possible outcomes, offering analysis of the importance of agenda control. Chapter six explores the impact of private information about local preferences on the agenda setter's capacity to pass its most preferred policy. The next chapter examines the history of the relative effectiveness of decision making in the framework of different decision rules, and concludes that enlargement has not markedly affected the speed of decision making. This view is not shared by the contributors of the eighth chapter who find, by comparison, that the relative speed of decision making in the EU has decreased over time.

The third and last part of the book focuses on challenges in selected policy areas. Chapter nine explores the distribution of trade competence in the EU and covers such issues as 'Who should speak for Europe?', autonomy in trade negotiations and the future conduct of the EU's trade policy. The focus of chapter ten is monetary policy and the EU's dilemmas in areas such as exchange rates and price stability. The final chapter examines agricultural policy and the policies of regional redistribution as the EU faces up to the challenge of enlargement.

The work will interest scholars and students of European Studies, policy researchers and all those interested in European Union affairs and the impact of future enlargement.

Madeleine O. Hosli is a Senior Lecturer in Political Science at the Free University of Amsterdam.
Adrian M.A. van Deemen is a Senior Lecturer at the Nijmegen School of Management, University of Nijmegen.
Mika Widgrén is Professor of International Economics at the Turku School of Economics and Business, Finland.

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