EU Inter-Institutional Relations Facing Europe 2020: The Role of Institutional Actors in the Negotiation of the EU Multi-Annual Financial Framework, 2014-2020

Friday, March 14, 2014
Chairman's (Omni Shoreham)
Niki Coppe , Institute of European Studies, VUB
The paper analyzes the negotiation process in the definition of the EU Multi-annual Financial Framework 2014-2020 and its outcome to explore the impact of the Lisbon Treaty provisions in the relative formal and informal power of EU inter-institutional relations throughout the MFF negotiations. Due to the significant institutional structural changes introduced by the Treaty and the unstable economic context, the last budgetary bargaining process offers a striking view into the future of European regional integration and the role that supranational institutions, namely the Commission and the EP, may play in influencing the intergovernmental negotiating process in this arena. The research seeks to bridge the literature on Principal-Agent model, the leadership theory and the network analysis theory in order to understand the negotiation outcome focusing on the dynamics of the inter-institutional relations from the agenda setting stage (the budgetary review 2008/2009) to the actual MFF regulation. Using recent data gained over the last two years through semi-structured interviews to member states' delegations and EU officials, we hypothesize that while the economic crisis has fostered the net-balances territorial cleavages raised after the last enlargement, the establishment of a Permanent Presidency inside the European Council have guaranteed major intergovernmental coordination limiting the informal role of the Commission in the system. Moreover, we hypothesize that even though the European Commission has lost part of its appeal into the intergovernmental negotiations during the last decade, it is still able to use its expertise power to influence governmental coalitions. 
  • Niki Coppe's paper (CES).pdf (863.9 kB)