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 11: Conclusion

Edited by Thomas Christiansen and Torbjörn Larsson

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

Extract

Thomas Christiansen, Torbjörn Larsson and Guenther F. Schaefer INTRODUCTION How legitimacy is created and maintained in a political system is one of the classical questions in the political discussion and the social sciences. It is also one of the topics that has attracted considerable attention among those analysing the EU, especially in relationship to the so-called democratic deficit. However, most of the analyses of the legitimacy of the EU so far have not been based on extensive empirical research, but have been carried out following major constitutional reforms of the Community or were based on one or two specific case studies or were focusing on the formal organisation of the EU. In this book the aim has been to try to fill this gap of knowledge by looking more deeply into the everyday life of the work of the committees, trying to get behind the official scene of decision-making. The issues of democracy and legitimacy are also linked to another classical question, the existence of formal and informal governmental structures. Usually the official (formal) version of how a government is organised only tells us half the story of how it actually functions, and what is stated in the constitution of a state can in reality be a rather poor description of the real exercise of political power. The tension between the norm – how a government is supposed to function – and the reality is always there and sometimes it is very strong. There are many reasons...

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