Choosing an Influential Agenda Setter: The Appointment of the Commission in the European Union
46 Pages Posted: 22 Jan 2016
Date Written: January 2016
This paper presents a game-theoretical spatial analysis of Commission appointment in the European Union (EU). In the model the European Parliament (EP) and the member states in the Council look ahead and consider the policy outcomes that result from the appointment of alternative Commissions. In contrast to earlier work we assume that the EP and the member states have incomplete information on the consequences of EU policies, whereas the Commission acquires private information on the link between policies and outcomes. As a result, we generate new insights in the Commission’s appointment. In particular, we find that the increased use of co-decision in the legislative process gives the Council an incentive to appoint a Commission that is closer to the EP, because the EP then trusts the Commission more. Thus this theory sheds new light on the so-called Spitzenkandidaten Coup that preceded the appointment of the Juncker Commission in 2014.
Keywords: European Union, European Commission, Agenda Setting, Incomplete Information
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