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Macmillan Higher Education Palgrave Higher Education

The European Commission

Edition 2nd Edition
ISBN 9780230220584
Publication Date November 2015
Formats Hardcover Ebook Paperback 
Publisher Palgrave
Series The European Union Series

The European Commission is at the very heart of the European integration process and, with the Council, is one of the two central institutions of the European Union. Its activist role under Jacques Delors led to a dramatic increase in its activity and influence and contributed to a crisis of confidence in its effectiveness and its lack of adequate financial controls which culminated in the resignation of the entire Commission under Jacques Santer in 1999.

What progress has the Commission made in addressing these issues under Romano Prodi? What are its prospects in face of the new challenges of Eastward enlargement? How great is its influence and how does this vary according to issues and circumstances? What are the implications of its hybrid character as a political and administrative body? How much has the Commission changed over time and how much - and how - does it need to change now?

Written by a leading authority and author of the best-selling introductory text on the EU, this major new text provides the definitive introduction to, and assessment of the Commission, its evolution, composition, organisation, character, functioning and role. Comprehensive, up to date and based on extensive original research it will be essential reading for students of European integration; politicians, policy makers and functionaries; and anyone with a serious interest in the European Union, its current character and future prospects.

Neill Nugent is Emeritus Professor of Politics at Manchester Metropolitan University, UK. He has published widely on the European Union and in 2013 was given a Lifetime Achievement Award in Contemporary European Studies by the University Association for Contemporary European Studies (UACES).

Mark Rhinard is Associate Professor at Stockholm University, Sweden, and Senior Research Fellow at the Swedish Institute of International Affairs. His research explores the institutional politics of the European Union, with an emphasis on internal and external security cooperation. His previous work on the Commission includes Framing Europe: the policy shaping strategies of the European Commission (Republic of Letters Publishing and Martinus Nijhoff Publishers, 2010).

2.An Overview of the Commission
3.The History of the Commission
4.The President
5.The College
6. Commissioners' Cabinet
7. The Services
8. Personnel
9. The Commission's Relations with Other EU Actors
10. The Provision of Leadership
11. The Making of EU Legislation
12. Executive Functions
13. External Relations
14. Conclusions.


Review of 1st Edition: '[A] comprehensive and valuable examination of the responsibilities, work and organization of the European Commission. It will be hard for those to wish to understand the European institutions to do without it ... [It] provides a large amount of information and, most importantly, its judgements are balanced. In this book I immediately recognize the Commission in which I served at the highest level for ten years.' – Lord Williamson, Former Secretary General of the Commission, Journal of Common Market Studies
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