Organizing Exits from the Joint-Decision Trap?

Miriam Hartlapp

in The EU's Decision Traps

Published in print May 2011 | ISBN: 9780199596225
Published online September 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780191729140 | DOI:
Organizing Exits from the Joint-Decision Trap?

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How are decisions coordinated across sectors in the EU political system? Frequently, more cross-sectoral coordination is seen as increasing the number of veto players, thus increasing the likelihood of blockages and lowest common denominator solutions. It is for this reason that historically low cross-sectoral coordination in the EU political system is often believed to facilitate decisions. This chapter explores actual coordination processes in the European Commission and Council and finds that, over time, the organization of cross-sectoral coordination has increased. Combining procedural knowledge with case study insight on legal acts such as the Liberalization of Services Directive or the REACH Directive, it challenges the view that these developments necessarily lead to a joint-decision trap. When used strategically, cross-policy coordination can also yield exit, because it allows certain actors to influence who becomes a veto-player and/or to move a decision horizontally or vertically into an arena favourable to the desired outcome.

Keywords: cross-sectoral coordination; veto player; decision arena; Commission; Council; Liberalization of Services Directive; REACH

Chapter.  8597 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: European Union

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