The Communitarization of the Area of Freedom, Security and Justice: Why Institutional Change Does Not Translate into Policy Change

16 Pages Posted: 17 Oct 2016

See all articles by Florian Trauner

Florian Trauner

Vrije Universiteit Brussel (VUB)

Ariadna Ripoll Servent

University of Bamberg - Department of Political Science

Date Written: November 2016

Abstract

This article proposes an explanation as to why institutional change – understood as more competences for the European Union's supranational institutions – has rarely led to policy change in the Area of Freedom, Security and Justice (AFSJ). It draws attention to the constraints that newly empowered actors have faced in the wake of introducing the co‐decision procedure. If the key principles of a given AFSJ sub‐policy – its ‘policy core’ – were defined before institutional change occurred, the Council (as the dominant actor of the early intergovernmental co‐operation) has found it easier to prevail in the altered structural environment and to co‐opt or sideline actors with competing rationales. The article compares the importance of the new decision‐making procedure with two alternative pathways potentially leading to policy change, namely, the power of litigation and the impact of unexpected external events.

Keywords: European Union, Area of Freedom, Security and Justice, institutional change, policy change, new institutionalism

Suggested Citation

Trauner, Florian and Ripoll Servent, Ariadna, The Communitarization of the Area of Freedom, Security and Justice: Why Institutional Change Does Not Translate into Policy Change (November 2016). JCMS: Journal of Common Market Studies, Vol. 54, Issue 6, pp. 1417-1432, 2016, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2852634 or http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/jcms.12397

Florian Trauner (Contact Author)

Vrije Universiteit Brussel (VUB) ( email )

Pleinlaan 2
http://www.vub.ac.be/
Brussels, 1050
Belgium

Ariadna Ripoll Servent

University of Bamberg - Department of Political Science ( email )

Feldkirchenstrasse 21
96045 Bamberg
Germany

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