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Politicising EU Lawmaking? The Spitzenkandidaten Experiment as a Cautionary Tale

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The Spitzenkandidaten experiment has elicited much interest in academic and political circles as a move towards further politicisation of important aspects of EU lawmaking. This article puts forward a sobering account of the normative and instrumental reasons that explain why these expectations were grounded on shaky premises and the experiment could not have delivered its promises. In particular, the article stresses (1) the failure in creating a channel for political opposition through the indirect election of the President of the Commission; (2) the adoption of a formal understanding of the institutions involved in the process, that is, a conception detached from their social basis and (3) the choice of the wrong institution for the purpose of politicisation. The article concludes with a modest proposal for the consolidation of the channels for political action already available at the level of the Member States.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: May 1, 2016

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