20 Pages Posted: 8 May 2003
This article builds on earlier accounts of the work of the Committee of Permanent Representatives (Coreper) in two ways. First, it examines the role played by members of the committee under legislative co-decision. Members of Coreper (especially Coreper I) represent the Council in conciliation with the European Parliament and are increasingly involved in negotiations between Council and Parliament at earlier stages in the co-decision procedure. Second, the article considers in what circumstances Coreper can make a significant contribution to decision-taking within the Council. It suggests that this is most likely to occur in negotiation on issues which are both politically sensitive and technically complex; but that Coreper has no monopoly on such negotiations. Coreper should be thought of partly as a coordinator of Council business, partly as a fixer and troubleshooter.
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