Remapping the European Agenda‐Setting Landscape


In the European Union, agenda‐setting is formally centralized with the European Commission. During the last decade since the Lisbon Treaty, however, this agenda‐setting monopoly was challenged by other institutions against the backdrop of Treaty change, intergovernmental crisis management, politicization, and more informal legislative bargaining. This symposium therefore surveys the emerging agenda‐setting powers of the EU’s other main institutional actors, in their relation to the Commission. The introduction provides a conceptual framework, distinguishing between procedural and discursive agenda‐setting power, as well as gate‐keeping power and agenda‐leadership. Based on this typology, we argue that not only the European Council (agenda‐leadership) but even the Court of Justice of the EU (procedural agenda‐setting) and the European Parliament (discursive agenda‐setting) gained more influence on policy‐decisions through their informal agenda‐setting activities. The landscape has thus become variegated, and the Commission, although remaining centre stage, now depends more strongly on inter‐institutional alliances.

Public Administration (online first)