Center for the Study of Democracy
THE HISTORY OF CONDITIONAL AGENDA-SETTING IN EUROPEAN INSTITUTIONS
- Author(s): Tsebelis, George
- Kreppel, Amie
- et al.
The purpose of this article is twofold. Our first goal is to make explicit an institutionalist theory of European integration. This theory is based on the concept of "conditional agenda setting," which we argue has played an important role in European integration. According to this theory, the fact that Commission proposals are more easily accepted than modified by the Council has accelerated the pace of integration. This finding brings us to the second goal of this article which is to investigate, by studying the history of EU institutions, whether or not these institutions were the result of conscious planning. We demonstrate that while some of the founding fathers (Hallstein, Spaak) and opponents of the EU (de Gaulle) had an accurate understanding of the institutional structures created in Rome, later participants in the integration process did not. In particular, the arguments surrounding the Single European Act indicate a lack of understanding of the full implications of the institutions selected.