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The Composition of the College of Commissioners: Patterns of Delegation


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  • Döring, Holger
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    Recent theoretical studies question the view that the European Commission is a preference outlier. This paper addresses this question by discussing the composition of the European College of Commissioners and by focusing on the appointment process. The analysis is based on a dataset that contains biographical information for all commissioners since 1958. The analysis highlights the importance of commissioners? party affi liation and their former political positions. Multivariate regression analysis shows that smaller member states have tended to send more high-ranking politicians to the College of Commissioners than larger member states. However, party affi liation has not become more important as an appointment criterion. What has changed with time has not been the party link but the caliber of positions held by commissioners before they are appointed to the College. -- Neuere theoretische Ansätze bezweifeln, dass die Interessen der Europäischen Kommission stark von den Interessen anderer Institutionen der Europäischen Union abweichen. Im vorliegenden Papier wird diese Frage mittels einer Analyse der Zusammensetzung des Kollegiums der Kommissare empirisch untersucht. Als Basis für die Untersuchung wird ein Datensatz verwendet, der biografische Daten aller Kommissare seit 1958 umfasst. Die Analyse vergleicht die Parteizugehörigkeit und die früheren politischen Ämter der Kommissare. Unter Verwendung multivariater statistischer Verfahren wird gezeigt, dass sich das Delegationsverhalten kleiner und großer EU-Mitgliedstaaten unterscheidet. Entgegen einer oftmals geäußerten Annahme ist die Parteizugehörigkeit kein wichtigeres Kriterium bei der Auswahl der Kommissare geworden. Vielmehr deutet eine Veränderung der früheren Positionen der Kommissare auf eine zunehmende politische Rolle des Kollegiums der Kommissare. Waren Kommissare zunächst hauptsächlich Ministerialbeamte, so sind es jetzt fast ausschließlich Berufspolitiker.

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    Paper provided by Max Planck Institute for the Study of Societies in its series MPIfG Discussion Paper with number 06/4.

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    Date of creation: 2006
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    Handle: RePEc:zbw:mpifgd:p0072

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    1. Abdul Ghafar Noury & Simon Hix & Gérard Roland, 2005. "Power to parties: cohesion and competition in the European Parliament 1979-2001," ULB Institutional Repository 2013/7752, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles.
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