Reforming the EU budgetary procedure: is Codecision a step forward?
Codecision is the main EU legislative procedure and the 2007 Reform Treaty draft has adopted it to improve the budgetary process. However, at close examination, codecision and the current budgetary process show an identical structure. Both are designed as non-cooperative alternating offers bargaining games between institutions and both, although in different measure, have gone through periods of interinstitutional deadlocks and conflicts, which can be ascribed to the insufficiency of the non-cooperative bargaining setup with respect to the task of providing for joint decision making by the Parliament and the Council of Ministers: in particular, the opportunistic interpretation of the Treaty provisions by the Parliament in the 1980s was one of the consequences of the strict bargaining design. The lacking elements for joint decision-making have been gradually inserted in the procedures by means of informal negotiation institutions, which are not only mechanisms for equilibrium selection but also corrective devices to strict non-cooperative procedures. In the change from the current budgetary procedure to the one designed in the Reform Treaty, the Parliament does not seem to gain a formal â€˜dominant positionâ€™, whereas the Commission improves its scope for action and the Council consolidates its role.
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