Inside the European Commission: Preference Formation and the Convention on the Future of Europe
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- Dimitrakopoulos, D. & Kassim, H. Comp Eur Polit (2005) 3: 180. doi:10.1057/palgrave.cep.6110056
How did the European Commission define its preferences with regards to the Convention on the Future of Europe? Is it the monolithic self-interested actor, propelled by a commitment to ever closer union and bent on aggrandizing its own power, as portrayed in much of the academic literature and in political debate, a purposive actor, whose outlook is conditioned by the structure of delegation configured by the member states, or is it an internally differentiated arena, from which preferences emerge as a result of complex interactions that entail the use of power, institutionalized myths and routines? We seek to demonstrate that in the case of the Convention on the Future of Europe, the preferences of the Commission emerged from a process that displays a strong pattern of presidentialism, which was conditioned by both internal and external challenges reflecting the environment in which Romano Prodi's Commission had to operate.