How consensual is comitology?

R. Dehousse, Ana Mar Fernández Pasarín, J. Plaza

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

16 Citations (Scopus)


This contribution revisits the question of the alleged consensual and deliberative nature of comitology proceedings on new conceptual and empirical bases. On the conceptual plane, we argue that it is important to separate the analysis of decision-making from that of outcomes: the fact that committees generally end up ratifying Commission proposals does not mean the latter are never contested. Consensus and deliberation being closely related concepts, we propose to focus on dissent within committees, which we regard as an indicator of a non-deliberative process or an imperfect deliberation. Applying this approach to data from the comitology register, we show the existence of a sizeable rate of contestation in various fields, and offer a first analysis of the factors that may influence dissensus. © 2014 Taylor & Francis.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)842-859
JournalJournal of European Public Policy
Publication statusPublished - 29 May 2014


  • Comitology
  • European institutions
  • consensus
  • decision-making
  • deliberation
  • unanimity


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