Delegated Powers and Inter-Institutional Relations in the EU after Lisbon: A Normative Assessment

T. Christiansen*, Mathias Dobbels

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


The European Union's system of delegated powers, comitology', underwent significant changes after the Lisbon Treaty entered into force. This paper assesses the impact of these changes on the European Parliament, European Commission and Council. It distinguishes between the changes that occurred at the level of treaty reform (which generally favoured the EP in assuming a greater role in the process of policy-implementation) and subsequent legislative reforms and developments in soft law (through which the Council and the European Commission have reasserted their powers). While the system of delegated powers has significantly changed through the Lisbon reforms, it falls short of the expectations and intentions that led to these changes. The key objectives behind the reform - a simplification of a highly complex system of centralised policy implementation and greater democratic accountability through an upgrading of the EP's role - have only partially been achieved. To some extent recent developments indicate a step back.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1159-1177
Number of pages19
JournalWest European Politics
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 1 Nov 2013




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