Comparative European Politics

, Volume 5, Issue 1, pp 18–35 | Cite as

Providing Venues for Contestation: The Role of Expert Committees and Informal Dialogue among Ministers in European Economic Policy Coordination

  • Uwe Puetter
Original Article


This article analyses the role of expert committees and informal dialogue among ministers as venues for norm contestation. The argument is that the incorporation of venues for contestation into standardized procedures for decision-making at the European level is pivotal to the generation of viable common policy guidelines. This is all the more important in the case of European economic policy coordination as this policy area is characterized by a decentralized governance framework which relies only on a limited set of constitutional principles. Owing to the thin and abstract nature of these norms, norm contestation occurs by default. The article delineates the institutional environment in which contestation takes place and asked whether the key procedures for decision-making have the potential to accommodate contestation as a permanent feature of policy-making. Moreover, it investigates how the enlargement of the Union puts the viability of existing working methods at risk. In particular, the larger number of actors questions the principle of equal access to contestation.


EU governance committees council norms Economic and Monetary Union enlargement 


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Copyright information

© Palgrave Macmillan Ltd 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  • Uwe Puetter
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Public PolicyAssociate Professor and Head, Central European UniversityBudapest, Nador u. 9Hungary

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