This paper evaluates which factors influence the European Parliament’s decision-making, based on a case study: the 2012 proposal for a General Data Protection Regulation. Following a ‘competitive testing’ approach, six different hypotheses are successively challenged in order to explain why the EP adopted a fundamental rights- oriented position. The first three factors relate to the internal organization of the EP’s work, i.e. the role played by the lead committee, by the rapporteur and by secretariat officials. The last three factors are external-related, i.e. lobbying activities, outside events and institutional considerations.
The formal powers of the EuropeanParliament are limited to assent in a few limited and quasi- constitutional areas, namely Association agreements, institutional framework treaties as well as the amendment of legislation made under the co-decision procedure and control of the budget. The inter-parliamentary delegations (of which there are 40) are often seen as another method that the EP can utilise to involve themselves in the external affairs of the Union, by raising awareness of issues with fellow of Parliamentarians in partner states. However, the utility of these informal contacts is questionable at best and the uncharitable might see these relationships as more about international travel than international law making. It is clear that none of these methods provides an effective tool for controlling European policy. Indeed, it is the submission of this paper that the prevalence of mixity means that it is unlikely that they ever could.
However, the relative explanatory effects of the proposed hypothesis (If there is a significant change in the external subsystem events then this will have a stronger effect on increasing the size of material advocacy coalitions than purposive advocacy coalitions) are less conclusive. The socioeconomic change in electricity prices and, to a lesser extent, the effect from the 2004 enlargement may have affected the development of the material lobbying coalitions to a greater degree than their purposive counterpart. However, the ‘significant change’ in public opinion and the financial crisis fell outside the research parameters of this paper, and thus can be identified as areas of research interest for additional studies. Furthermore, there was not a ‘significant change’ in the governing coalition of the Commission or the “very green group” 160 of the EuropeanParliament, while
The adoption process of the emission trading scheme (ETS) directive in the co-decision procedure merged the dynamics of problem solution and political gaming, which Kingdon calls policy and political streams. An application of Sabatier’s advocacy coalition framework shows that an “economy-first” and an “environment-first” coalition competed for influence on the ETS. Environmental NGOs (ENGOs) as part of one advocacy coalition were subject to the constraints of lobbying in a multi-level governance system. Their ability to influence the ETS depended on relatively stable parameters and external events. As ENGOs are outsiders to the bodies with formal authority in the European Union (EU), they needed powerful coalition members such as DG Environment and the EuropeanParliament (EP) as well as strong external facilitating factors. ENGOs fared better in the policy stream than in the political stream. They aimed for a strong initial Commission proposal to set a path-dependent process in motion and at counterbalancing the Council with the EP. They can contribute to policy- oriented learning and instrumentalise perturbations, but they are not able to create a negotiation stalemate.
Further, politicisation of the election of the Commission President can to some extent be mitigated by ensuring sufficient heterogeneity in the College of Commissioners. In terms of nationality, it seems likely that also with the new Constitutional Treaty all member states will at least have a (non-voting) Commissioner. Moreover, the Constitutional Treaty provides that each national government will provide a shortlist of three candidates from which the Commission President can then select the members of the College. After that the College as a whole still needs the approval of the EuropeanParliament. Whether the IGC will maintain this shortlist procedure remains to be seen. The Convention proposal is open to manipulation, both on the side of the member states (proposing only one ‘serious’ candidate) as well as on the side of the Commission President (selecting weaker Commissioners). What is more, it would seem desirable that in the end the overall composition of the Commission is relatively balanced in terms of expertise and political affiliation. Criteria to that effect might be formulated either in the Constitution or in a separate decision by the Council and/or the Parliament. Also when in the end all member states would be represented in the College, then some precautions seem warranted to ensure that prestigious posts (vice-presidency, chair of possible teams, major portfolios) are fairly distributed among the members of the Commission.
This paper has examined to what extent the policies of the European Union in the Gulf have changed since the beginning of the Arab Spring. Despite the challenges ahead and despite the calls by the EuropeanParliament and by Baroness Ashton to upgrade the relationship, the EU’s new Gulf Strategy after the Arab Spring has not taken shape yet. The EU has been, and will remain, a crucial partner for the GCC, but this partnership lacks strategic vision. 116 This paper has shed light on the difficult
Policy interventions with respect to the European market can be divided into two analytical categories: market-mak- ing and market-correcting interventions. Market-making interventions are directed at the removal of barriers to trade and competition, including the abolishment of tar- iffs and other quantitative restrictions, as well as the estab- lishment of common product standards. Another purpose of these interventions is to establish a common level play- ing field for all market players. From the market-making perspective, all factors that distort the market process must be removed. Market-correcting interventions have a restrictive impact on the domain of competition. Policy- makers implement such interventions in order to avoid market effects they consider deviant or anomalous, such as ethical reasons or considerations related to social wel- fare and public health. A ban on market instruments, such as advertising, can also be interpreted as a market-correct- ing intervention if that intervention aims at avoiding unwanted market effects. The distinction between market- making and market-correcting policy interventions should be understood as an analytical one. In fact, many policies combine aspects of both and a clear-cut distinc- tion does not always exist. Yet, it is useful for our research topic to differentiate between interventions directed at the creation of a market and interventions that pose restric- tions to the market process for moral, social or other rea- sons.