Comitology: The Strength of Dissent

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This article sheds new light on deliberative dynamics at work in comitology. Starting from the findings of previous research on the frequency of consensus within the comitology committees of the EU in 2008, this article seeks to provide a measure of the intensity of opposition to the Commission’s draft implementing proposals before and after the 2011 comitology reform. Applying this approach to data from the comitology register (2008–2013), the article analyses the structure of contestation, proposes an index of opposition and tests the factors that may explain variations. Attention is paid to procedural choices and sociological arguments before and after the last reform of the comitology system. Our findings are fourfold. First, conflict with the Commission’s positions, although weak, is not that rare during deliberations. Second, patterns of support and opposition are stable over time. Third, sharp cross-sectorial variations exist. Last but not least, procedural choices matter for contestation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)311-330
Number of pages20
JournalJournal of European Integration
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 19 Mar 2020


  • Comitology
  • European commission
  • Contestation
  • Council
  • Delegation of power
  • Executive decision-making


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