|Author (Person)||Bevan, Shaun, Williams, Christopher J.|
|Series Title||European Union Politics|
|Series Details||Volume 20, Number 4, Pages 608-628|
|Publication Date||December 2019|
|ISSN||1465-1165 (print) | 1741-2757 (online)|
|Content Type||Journal Article|
This study tests the relationship between public attitudes regarding the European Union and unilateral adoption of legal acts by the European Commission (i.e. directives and regulations).
Relying on theories of policy responsiveness, as well as legislative gridlock, we present two hypotheses with competing expectations regarding the effect of public attitudes toward the European Union on policy-making activity in the European Commission. The first hypothesis suggests that the Commission will unilaterally adopt more legal acts when public support for the European Union is greater, while the second hypothesis suggests that the Commission will unilaterally adopt fewer legal acts when public support for the European Union is greater.
Using time series error correction models and data from Eurobarometer surveys from 1974 to 2008, and the European Union’s online legislative archive (EUR-Lex), these hypotheses are tested. The results support the second hypothesis, suggesting that the European Commission will increase unilateral legal act adoption when public attitudes are more negative toward the European Union, while decreasing unilateral legal act adoption when the public is more Europhilic.
These findings indicate a possibility of responsibility trading between the institutions of the European Union and have important implications for our understandings of European policy processes, political responsiveness, and democratic governance in the European Union.
|Subject Categories||Politics and International Relations|
|Subject Tags||European Commission, Euroscepticism|