IDEAS home Printed from
MyIDEAS: Log in (now much improved!) to save this article

From the Sidelines to Center Stage: Sidekick No More? The European Commission in Justice and Home Affairs

Listed author(s):
  • Ucarer, Emek M.
Registered author(s):

    Cooperation in Justice and Home Affairs (JHA) an issue area that includes matters of asylum, immigration, police and judicial cooperation is a relatively new policy arena for the European Union. The level and quality of the collective thinking on these issues have improved since the mid-1980s. JHA cooperation was formally endorsed in Maastricht and revisited during the 1996 IGC, resulting in new institutional frameworks within which discussions now occur. Throughout this period, the European Commission has seen its involvement in the decision-making enhanced. Its efforts as an actor began with a humble Task Force with which the Commission attempted to steer EU's policies on asylum and immigration, as well as police and judicial cooperation. After Amsterdam, and particularly as a result of the Commission's restructuring following the resignation of the Santer Commission, the Commission's institutional capacities as well as its charge vis-à-vis the treaties has changed quite remarkably. This paper reviews the Commission's role in JHA as an institutional actor and will evaluate its agency and emerging autonomy in these fields. It argues that the Commission has a stronger constitutional and institutional basis from which to work, bolstered by the increased propensity by member states to delegate to the Commission and enhanced by the creation of the Directorate General for Justice and Home Affairs. While improvements in the Commission's position vis-à-vis the immediate aftermath of Maastricht are visible, challenges remain nonetheless which constrain the Commissions ability to act as a competence-maximizing institution with formal agenda-setting powers.

    If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.

    File URL:
    File Function: Abstract
    Download Restriction: no

    File URL:
    File Function: Full text
    Download Restriction: no

    File URL:
    File Function: Full text
    Download Restriction: no

    Article provided by European Community Studies Association Austria (ECSA-A) in its journal European Integration online Papers (EIoP).

    Volume (Year): 5 (2001)
    Issue (Month): (05)

    in new window

    Handle: RePEc:erp:eiopxx:p0065
    Contact details of provider: Web page:

    More information through EDIRC

    Order Information: Web:

    No references listed on IDEAS
    You can help add them by filling out this form.

    This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

    When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:erp:eiopxx:p0065. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Editorial Assistant)

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

    If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.