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The Role of the European Parliament in Policy Evaluation in a Differentiated Polity

Gilles Pittoors

Differentiation is one of the main features of European integration for the past two decades and is often hailed as an efficient tool to deepen integration in the face of a divergence of interests among Member States. However, it also poses some serious challenges to the durability and management of European integration, ranging from "the predominantly administrative (ensuring the more variegated polity is 'policed' effectively) to the legal (further challenges to the supremacy of EC law) and the normative (issues of democracy, as problems of reduced transparency and solidarity are evident)". Focussing on the democratic and managerial defects of differentiation post-decision-making, this paper assesses the role of the EP in evaluating European social and fiscal policies. In other words, what is the role of the EP in policy evaluation in a differentiated polity? Policy evaluation cross-cuts the gaps in the literature on differentiation both regarding policy implementation and the position of the EP in such a polity.

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