Managing the house: The Presidency, agenda control and policy activism in the European Commission

Hussein Kassim, Sara Connolly, Renaud Dehousse, Olivier Rozenberg, Selma Benjaballah

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76 Citations (Scopus)
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Although the importance of international organizations is well-established, the specific contribution of international administrations or secretariats to the policy outputs of wider organization is rarely investigated. Still less attention is paid to how intra-organizational factors within international administrations affect their capacity to influence those outputs. Even in the case of the European Union, where the power of the European Commission over decisional outputs has been a long-standing interest, that issue has not been fully explored. Scholars have focused on horizontal factors, but have not addressed how vertical relations may affect the Commission’s policy activism and therefore its influence on the level of EU outputs. By examining how the transformation of power relations within the Commission has changed as a consequence of the strengthening of the Commission Presidency, this paper fills that lacuna. Showing how a strong President has been able to control the Commission’s output, it demonstrates the importance of vertical relations as a key variable.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)653-674
Number of pages22
JournalJournal of European Public Policy
Issue number5
Early online date19 Apr 2016
Publication statusPublished - 2017


  • Agenda control
  • European Commission
  • European Union
  • international administrations
  • policy output
  • presidentialization

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