The Shadow of the European Council. Understanding Legislation on Economic Governance

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Series Details Vol.38, No.5, July 2016, p511-525
Publication Date July 2016
ISSN 0703-6337
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This article analyses the role of the European Council in two key legislative packages on economic and budgetary coordination, the Six-pack and the Two-pack, which were negotiated under the ordinary legislative procedure. It assesses how and to what extent the key actor in the literature on the new intergovernmentalism – the European Council – is able to curb the powers of the supranational institutions – the Commission and the European Parliament – in a policy area where the community method has been applied since the Treaty of Lisbon. It tracks the development of the legislative negotiations – from the stages preceding the Commission’s proposal to their conclusions, relying on official documents, press reports and 30 original interviews with key decision-makers. The strong role of the European Council both as an agenda-setter and in the legislative negotiations stands out, and suggests that the implications of new intergovernmentalism may well extend beyond intergovernmental decision-making processes.

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