The shadow of the European Council: understanding legislation on economic governance

2016-09-08T08:30:23Z (GMT) by Edoardo Bressanelli Nicola Chelotti
This article analyses the role of the European Council in two key legislative packages on economic and budgetary coordination, the Six-pack and the Two-pack, which were negotiated under the ordinary legislative procedure. It assesses how and to what extent the key actor in the literature on the new intergovernmentalism – the European Council – is able to curb the powers of the supranational institutions – the Commission and the European Parliament – in a policy area where the community method has been applied since the Treaty of Lisbon. It tracks the development of the legislative negotiations – from the stages preceding the Commission’s proposal to their conclusions, relying on official documents, press reports and 30 original interviews with key decision-makers. The strong role of the European Council both as an agenda-setter and in the legislative negotiations stands out, and suggests that the implications of new intergovernmentalism may well extend beyond intergovernmental decision-making processes.