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Research Seminar: Understanding EU policy responses to the migration and refugee crisis: a two-level analysis of distribution and competition for power in the formulation of the Refugee Relocation Scheme and the EU-Turkey Statement

When Nov 13, 2020
from 02:00 PM to 03:00 PM
Where Zoom
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Presented by: Maria Chiara Vinciguerra, Ph.D. Candidate, Department of Politics and International Studies, University of Cambridge

Abstract: Under consultation procedure, the European Parliament has often been considered the weakest EU institution in influencing policy outputs, lobbying the Commission and the Council in an attempt to exert some influence on the decision-making process. In order to test whether this hypothesis holds true in spite of the increased legislative powers acquired by the Parliament in the Area of Freedom, Security and Justice (AFSJ) after Lisbon, this paper analyses the role played by the European Parliament in the policy formulation of the two refugee relocation Council Decisions (EU) 2015/1523 and 2015/1601, adopted by a special consultation procedure set by Art. 78(3) TFEU. In so doing, this paper exploits Putnam's two-level framework to explore: early agenda-setting attempts made by the Parliament as a whole and by its various political groups; groups’ positions on the issues of refugee relocation and intra-European solidarity, as both formally stated in their position papers and as expressed at the LIBE Committee and in the roll-call votes; level I and level II coalitionbuilding efforts made by national parties throughout the policy-making process. The paper argues that, while the Parliament was downgraded to a marginal player as a whole, the support of the EPP was nevertheless crucial for the Rapporteur to secure a solid majority on the two legislative files. Furthermore, it suggests that, in the presence of mounting domestic and electoral pressures, i.e. low politics, national interests can and often do trump EP group affiliation.

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