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A responsive relationship? setting the political agenda in the European Union
journal contributionposted on 20.06.2022, 16:37 by M Giurcanu, Petia KostadinovaPetia Kostadinova
Recent research has documented the European Commission's attention to the preferences of the European public and the other EU institutions when formulating policy proposals. This project demonstrates that such efforts originated with the first Barroso Commission, which addressed public concerns through purposeful coordination with the European Parliament when drafting policy priorities in the Commission’s administrative units. We test for public input during the inter-institutional coordination as early as 2004–2008, using Europarties’ pledges issued during the 2004 EP elections and subsequent Commission policy priorities. Our analyses show that the policy priorities of the Commission overlap with the Europarties’ pledges when 1) the public is critical of European integration, 2) policies are salient to the public, and 3) priority initiatives fall in areas dominated by civil society and NGO groups. We interpret our results as a responsive relationship based on the inter-institutional coordination between the two actors at the agenda-setting stage.