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It takes three to tango’: new inter-institutional dynamics in managing major crisis reform

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  • Sandrino Smeets, Radboud University Nijmegen, Netherlands
  • Derek Beach
This paper provides an in-depth reconstruction of the (failed) reform of the EU’s
Common European Asylum System. Even though this was essentially a legislative
process, it was characterized by extensive European Council involvement. In fact,
the European Council is commonly blamed for the lack of progress in EU reform.
Divisions at the level of the Heads and an insistence on consensus made it
impossible for the machine room to proceed with the dossier. We challenge this
view, by looking at the interplay between the European Council, Council (of
Ministers) and Commission. We argue that the effectiveness of European Council
involvement crucially depends on the actions of these two institutions.
Involvement of the Heads can propel, paralyze or derail EU decision-making,
depending on when and how they are brought into play. The Council and
Commission play a crucial role by anticipating, setting the scene for and
providing the follow-up to European Council involvement.
Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of European Public Policy
Pages (from-to)1414-1432
Number of pages19
Publication statusPublished - 2 Sept 2022

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021 The Author(s). Published by Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group.

    Research areas

  • Asylum and migration, EU institutions, intergovernmentalism, leadership, negotiations

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