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 6: The Role of Committees and Working Groups in the CFSP Area

Simon Duke

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


Simon Duke INTRODUCTION The role of committees in the Common Foreign and Security Policy (CFSP) is rarely subject to the same type and depth of scrutiny as that of others in the Community. It is therefore of credit to the editors of this volume that they have specifically included CFSP committees as part of the examination. The committees in the CFSP area, using the broad terminology adopted in other chapters, include both the ‘low’ committees, primarily the working parties, and the ‘high committees’. The emphasis in this chapter will be upon the latter and, more particularly, the Political and Security Committee (PSC). The justification for this is threefold. First, when compared with that of other EU high committees, the role of the PSC is perhaps underappreciated since it is at the hub of much of the EU’s diplomatic activity and is the linchpin for a growing number of crisis management operations.1 Second, the role of the PSC is an interesting case study of ‘Brusselisation’, or the process whereby those competences formally attributed to the Member States are increasingly executed by Brussels-based fonctionnaires (see Allen, 1998). Finally, the relationship between the PSC and the other principal high committee, the Committee of Permanent Representatives (COREPER), is also of significance when trying to understand the role of committees in the CFSP area. The significance of this chapter (and volume) is hopefully also to be found in the growing importance and influence of the committees and, hence, our need...

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