The changing European Commission

Author (Person)
Series Title
Publication Date 2004
ISBN 0-7190-6776-6 (Hbk); 0-7190-6777-4 (Pbk)
Content Type


The dual roles of the European Commission are those of an arena for the exercise of power and as an actor in its own right. This work examines these roles during a specific period - broadly the late 1990s and specifically that of Romano Prodi's tenure.

Part one explores the Commission as an organisation. Chapter one offers an examination of the Presidency of the Commission and an evaluation of the College of Commissioners under Prodi. Administrative reform and more particularly the implementation of the Kinnock reform are discussed in chapter two. A closer examination of the Kinnock reform is presented in chapter three, which looks at his White Paper and highlights two culture-related elements, namely leadership and inclusiveness. Administrative reform examined from the perspective of the balance of power between self-interested internal actors is the focus of chapter four, which looks at the first seventeen years of the Directorate-General for Development (DG VIII).

Part two concentrates on the Commission as an actor, opening with a chapter discussing the decline of the Commission since the heady days of Delors, its new relationship with Member States keen to assert their own position and the inability of Prodi to offer a 'grand idea' to mobilise Commission officials. Chapter six examines the capacity of the Commission to influence the content of EU legislation using its powers as guardian of the Treaty and administrator of EU competition law. Foreign policy and the relationship between Chris Patten and Javier Solana is the focus of chapter seven. The Commission's role in the accession negotiations is explored in chapter eight, which closes the second part of the book.

In conclusion, chapter nine relates the earlier chapters to Prodi's agenda and contrasts his proposals and the calls for the explicit 'parliamentarisation' of the Commission with Majone's thesis on the perils inherent in this idea.

The work will interest scholars and students engaged in European Union studies, politics and international relations.

Dionyssis G. Dimitrakopoulos is Lecturer in Politics at the School of Politics and Sociology, Birkbeck College, University of London.

Source Link
Subject Categories
Countries / Regions