Shaping EU Policy from Below
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Shaping EU Policy from Below

EU Democracy and the Committee of the Regions

Simona Piattoni and Justus Schönlau

This book looks at the way in which the Committee of the Regions (CoR) can influence EU policy making from below, despite its relatively weak position in the decision-making process. Bringing together theoretical arguments about the central role of the formation of judgment in addition to the more conventionally emphasized expression of will, with an up-to-date account of the CoR's institutional development and activities, Simona Piattoni and Justus Schönlau make a strong case not to overlook the significance of the Committee's contribution to EU-level democracy.
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Chapter 4: Exerting control: impact assessment and subsidiarity monitoring

Simona Piattoni and Justus Schönlau


After having looked at the institutional conditions under which the Committee of the Regions (CoR) exercises its voice functions, and how they have been developed over the first 20 years of its existence, we will now examine in some more detail two specific activities of the Committee to show how they illustrate the particular contribution of the local and regional level to EU policy-making. These activities focus, in Urbinati’s terms, on the passive elements of judgment, that is, receiving and surveiling (control). The term passive in this context seems, however, somewhat misleading since the assessment of EU proposals or existing legislation from the point of view of local and regional does require a great deal of active involvement of the CoR and its members. In fact, it may be argued, these aspects of the Committee of the Region’s function may ultimately become as important as the active elements of judgment, proposing and activating. A further increase in the CoR’s activities linked to the passive expression of voice or exercising control may occur for two different independent, but interconnected reasons.

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