The Role of Committees in the Policy-Process of the European Union

The Role of Committees in the Policy-Process of the European Union

Legislation, Implementation and Deliberation

Edited by Thomas Christiansen and Torbjörn Larsson

This book provides a comprehensive account of the role of the advisory, legislative and implementation committees involved in the policy-making process of the European Union. This is an aspect of EU politics that is often overlooked and remains under-researched, even though such committees can have wide-ranging influence in the policy-process.

Chapter 4: The Commission’s Relations with Expert Advisory Groups

Torbjörn Larsson and Jan Murk

Subjects: law - academic, european law, politics and public policy, european politics and policy


Torbjörn Larsson and Jan Murk INTRODUCTION The Commission and the Council are usually regarded as the two most important operators of the EU institutions, even if the Commission’s influence has decreased in line with the increased power of the European Parliament, according to some observers. One of the main reasons the Commission remains influential is its mandate to initiate and shepherd the policy-making process. As mentioned in the introductory chapter, the policy-making process is to a large extent about shaping arenas where different interests can meet and discuss issues of common concern. The structuring of these arenas can be carried out in a number of ways, ranging from very formal and fixed to very fragmented and informal. In a democratic society the setting up of committees and working groups is very important and this tool is often used to shape arenas for interaction between competing interests. Thus, how and why committees and groups are set up and organized are important elements in determining the result of the policy-making process in terms not only of practical policies but also of whether those policies will add to or reduce the legitimacy of the EU system as such, as discussed in Chapter 2. It is a well-known fact that not only do the European Parliament and the Council have their own committee systems but the Commission also has a vast number of committees and groups for its different functions. And what we are talking about here are not the so-called...

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