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Consensus under pressure : The evolution of conflict in the EU legislative process

Abstract : The current crisis could lead us to expect an overall increase of conflicts in the EU legislative process and eventually a shift from a consensual system to a majoritarian system. This paper aims to assess the evolution of conflict in the EU legislative process in order to test this expectation. It constitutes a first attempt to deepen our understanding of conflict in the EU legislative process thanks to the database of the Observatory of European Institutions. We first define several intra-institutional and inter-institutional indicators of conflict. Then we assess the evolution of conflict for the period 1996-2014. The data show a limited increase of conflict in the legislative process. However, the legislative actors still comply with the norm of consensus; the EU political system has not shifted from a consensual system to a majoritarian system. In order to explain this trend and apparent lack of change, we suggest several hypotheses: The institutions’ adaptation by stealth ; the inter-institutional drive towards legislative productivity; institutional patriotism.
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Submitted on : Wednesday, December 11, 2019 - 4:05:37 PM
Last modification on : Tuesday, May 10, 2022 - 3:40:02 PM

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Renaud Dehousse, Stéphanie Novak, Selma Bendjaballah. Consensus under pressure : The evolution of conflict in the EU legislative process. Politique européenne, l'Harmattan, 2017, 4 (58), pp.44-70. ⟨10.3917/poeu.058.0044⟩. ⟨hal-02405046⟩

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