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Divesting power : EC comitology, GMO approvals, and the abdication of power by member states Papić, Marko

Abstract

Comitology procedure is the main decision-making mechanism of the European Community (EC) and from empirical records to date it appears to be an extremely efficient way of reaching consensus amongst the Member States. However, when attempting to reach a decision regarding the approval of Genetically Modified Organisms (GMO), the Comitology procedure consistently fails and Member States divest their decision-making responsibility to the Commission This paper analyzes the decision-making dynamics that lead to such a decision. It argues that the external pressures on the Member States and the Commission prevent deliberation and consensual solutions. Furthermore, the Comitology procedure itself exacerbates the conflict between states and prevents deliberative methods from being utilized. Member States strategically divest themselves from the responsibility to make decisions and "pass-the-buck" to the Commission. The paper concludes that the issue of GMO approvals should be taken out of Comitology as further failure will increase dissatisfaction of the European institutions and lead to more democratic deficit.

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