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Too Much Executive Power? Delegated Lawmaking and Comitology in Perspective

Vihar Georgiev

The post-Lisbon Treaty institutional mechanism of the European Union has been significantly altered by the introduction of a formal hierarchy of legal acts. This paperborrows from previous experiences with the comitology procedures in order to outline some very important, unanswered questions for the future institutional setting ofthe Union and the distribution of powers. The adoption of implementing acts by the European Commission is studied in two aspects. It is argued that the EuropeanCommission is likely to enjoy substantial discretion in delegated lawmaking. This loss of control by Member States over the adoption of delegated acts is notcompensated for by other adequate mechanisms for ensuring accountability. In addition, the European Commission has been successfully positioning itself to diminishthe influence of comitology committees on the adoption of implementing acts. The possible outcomes of this new institutional battle are analyzed in the context of thenew challenges to the Community method. Some important implications of this institutional shift for the debate on the democratic deficit in the European Union are alsodrawn up.

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