The European Parliament in Treaty Reform: Predefining Igcs Through Interinstitutional Agreements
27 Pages Posted: 11 Jan 2007
Despite the fact that Interinstitutional Agreements (IIAs) are an established part of the mass of informal and formal rules structuring EU decision-making and interinstitutional relations, there is as yet no common understanding of their role and functions in the institutional and legal system of the EU - neither in political science nor legal studies. Tracking the evolution of the European Parliament's competencies in three areas where IIAs figure prominently - comitology, legislative planning, and the establishment of procedures to hold the Commission accountable - this article seeks to show that the European Parliament strategically uses IIAs as instruments to wrest competencies from the Council and the Commission. Having no formal say in treaty reform, the European Parliament 'creates facts' through informal but politically binding IIAs hoping that, once established, it can achieve a later codification of its new rights at IGCs. Viewed this way, the analysis of the role of IIAs in Treaty Reform could help to explain a still under-researched puzzle in European integration theory, namely the incremental parliamentarisation of the institutional system of the EU over the last two decades.
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