How states retain control: Delegation in the European Union
Legislators always have mixed feelings about delegation. They want the benefits of expertise, but fear loss of control over policy decisions. In the current issue of Governance, Jens Blom-Hansen examines how this tension is managed in European Union. One technique is the use of “comitology” committees comprised of member state representatives, charged with oversight of bodies exercising delegated powers. But comitology committees vary in authority. What determines the variation? Blom-Hansen examines almost seven hundred EU directives and regulations adopted between 1999 and 2006. He demonstrates that comitology control is largely determined by the degree of institutional conflict over content of policy, as well as the complexity of the issue at hand. Read the article.