European Political Science

, Volume 16, Issue 1, pp 48–59 | Cite as

political leadership in the European Union: a time-centred view

  • klaus h goetzEmail author


This article explores the connection between time and political leadership within the institutional setting of the European Union (EU). The discussion first notes how time is linked to power, legitimacy and efficiency, and how time rules, time budgets and time horizons influence the potential for both institutional and individual leadership. Next, the article sets out core features of political time in the EU, discusses their implications for leadership and highlights the skilful handling of multiple times as a central leadership challenge. Leaders with larger, more predictable time budgets and more extended time horizons are in a privileged position as are those who enjoy discretion regarding the timing of their actions and who are able to act as time-setters. Increasingly, leaders in the supranational institutions of the EU – notably the Commission and the European Parliament – follow their own calendars. In the intergovernmental bodies, differences in executives’ time budgets and horizons affect their leadership potential.


European union political time leadership timescape 


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Copyright information

© European Consortium for Political Research 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Chair of Political Systems and European Integration, Department of Political Science, Ludwig-Maximilians-UniversityMunichGermany

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