Bureaucrats as Law-makers : Committee decision-making in the EU Council of Ministers book cover
1st Edition

Bureaucrats as Law-makers
Committee decision-making in the EU Council of Ministers

ISBN 9781138822245
Published November 10, 2014 by Routledge
240 Pages 26 B/W Illustrations

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Book Description

The Council of Ministers is one of the most powerful institutions of the European Union (EU) and plays a major role in the European policy-making process. Drawing on formal theory and combining quantitative and qualitative methods in an innovative fashion, this book provides novel insights into the role of national bureaucrats in legislative decision-making of the Council of the EU.

The book examines and describes the Council of Ministers’ committee system and its internal decision-making process. Relying on a wide quantitative dataset as well as six detailed case studies in the policy areas of Agriculture, Environment, and Taxation, it provides a comprehensive and systematic assessment of the extent to which national bureaucrats act as law-makers in the Council. It also examines the degree to which theories on collective decision-making, delegation, and international socialization can account for variation in the involvement of bureaucrats. Investigating how often and why national officials in working parties and committees, rather than ministers, make legislative decisions in the EU, this book addresses the implications of bureaucratic influence for the democratic legitimacy of Council decision-making. The author finds that ministers play a generally more important role in legislative decision-making than often assumed, alleviating, to some extent, concerns about the democratic legitimacy of Council decisions.

Bureaucrats as Law-Makers will be of interest to students, scholars and practitioners in the field of European Union politics and policy-making, legislative decision-making, intergovernmental negotiations and international socialization.

Table of Contents

Part 1: Introduction and Background  1.The Study of Council Committees  2. The Council’s Committee System  3. Existing Research on Council Decision-Making  4.Theoretical Perspectives on Committee Decision-Making  Part 2: Quantitative Analysis  5. Sample Selection  6. Describing the Extent of Committee Decision-Making  7. Explaining the Variation in Committee Decision-Making  Part 3: Qualitative Analysis  8. Methodological Issues  9. Agriculture  10. Environment  11. Economic and Financial Affairs  12. Summary and Between-Sector Comparison  Part 4: Synthesis and Conclusion  13. Discussion of Research Results and Theory Building  14.Conclusion

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Frank M Häge is Lecturer in the Department of Politics and Public Administration at the University of Limerick, Ireland.