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The European Parliament and Comitology: On the Road to Nowhere?

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The European Parliament has generally been deeply distrustful of the comitology system, primarily on the grounds that it allows the national administrations to undermine its supervisory role in the area of implementing legislation. Parliament has therefore sought to use the political, budgetary and jurisdictional means at its disposal to counteract the spread of comitology, or at least to promote the less intrusive forms of committee procedure. These initiatives have not, for the most part, been wholly successful; neither the interinstitutional agreements nor Parliament's arguments before the Court of Justice have produced the results it had hoped for. Parliament has been able, however, to use its Maastricht powers to influence the choice of committee procedure included in legislation adopted under codecision, and its budgetary tactics have forced the Commission to rationalise somewhat the annual expenditure on committees of all kinds and to bring a modicum of transparency into their operation. The imminence of the intergovernmental conference led to a suspension of hostilities towards the end of 1996.

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: 1997-09-01

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