Enlargement, Reform and the European Commission: Weathering a Perfect Storm?

John Peterson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract / Description of output

The European Commission may be the world's most powerful international administration. However, the notion that it has been in decline since the resignation of the Santer Commission in 1999 has become accepted wisdom. This analysis asks whether radical internal reforms and the European Union (EU) enlargements of 2004–07 add up to a sort of perfect storm, accelerating the Commission's decay. Recent changes have been dramatic and, in some ways, traumatic. Yet, in some respects, the internal reforms and enlargement are likely to yield a more modern Commission better able to add value to new forms of network governance. Ultimately, there is evidence to suggest that the Commission has become a more intergovernmental institution: less autonomous but more integrated into the EU system. Crucially, however, the very notion of ‘intergovernmental’ requires redefinition in the new EU.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)761-780
Number of pages20
JournalJournal of European Public Policy
Issue number5
Early online date11 Jul 2008
Publication statusPublished - 2008

Keywords / Materials (for Non-textual outputs)

  • Administrative reform
  • enlargement
  • European Commission
  • intergovernmentalism
  • José Manuel Barroso
  • network governance


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