Political Leadership in the European Commission: the Santer and Prodi Commissions, 1995-2005

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Abstract

Expectations of the Commission's ability to provide leadership derived from its treaty functions, the cultivated spillover from them, and the Hallstein and Delors presidencies. Its functions of agenda-setting and policy initiation have given it political influence. President Santer sought to do less in this area and concentrate on the Commission's neglected administrative role. This low-profile, introverted focus on managerial reform left the preparation of enlargement and the Euro to others. Santer's enforced resignation was followed by President Prodi's completion of major East European enlargement and the changeover to the Euro. He was ineffective in enforcing the Stability and Growth Pact, and in his forlorn attempt at federalist treaty reform when the EU was moving increasingly towards intergovernmentalism. Increased intervention by the Council of Ministers and Parliament has confined the Commission to the management of policy networks rather than political leadership.
Translated title of the contributionPolitical Leadership in the European Commission: the Santer and Prodi Commissions, 1995-2005
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationLeaderless Europe
EditorsJ. Hayward
PublisherOxford University Press
Pages113 - 130
Number of pages17
ISBN (Print)9780199535026
Publication statusPublished - 2008

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