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Jean Monnet Chair research

Dr Dimitrakopoulos will be working, under the auspices of the Jean Monnet Chair that he holds, on three research projects in relation to the parliamentarisation of the European Union. The research will cover:

  •  the history of the European Parliament’s efforts to increase its role in the controversial area of executive rule-making (‘comitology’)
  • the efforts (including by the European Ombudsman) to increase transparency in the operation of the Council of Ministers to an extent that is commensurate with corresponding national legislative bodies 
  • the development of the Spitzenkandidaten system as a way of appointing the President of the European Commission.

Each case study will also be submitted for publication in an international refereed academic journal. Earlier versions will be presented in major international conferences (such as the Conference of Europeanists). The corresponding working papers that will be published under the auspices of the Jean Monnet Chair in Parliamentary Democracy and European Integration will be made available through this page. 

ASSOCIATED DOCTORAL PROJECTS

DILWYN GRIFFITHS 

  • Dilwyn Griffiths is currently working on a doctoral project that examines how independent in practice from majoritarian political influences are a group of the newest EU agencies - the three European financial supervisory authorities (ESAs) - and assesses the balance between their autonomy and accountability. 
  • Agencies are now a common feature in advanced democracies and particularly the EU. But since the global financial crisis there has been an increasing backlash against ‘agentification’ on the grounds that too much power is given to technocrats with insufficient democratic accountability. But is this criticism well founded or does it overestimate agencies’ independence and underestimate their responsiveness to democratic pressure?
  • The project will contribute to the ongoing debate on the EU's ‘democratic deficit’ and the growth of technocratic ‘unelected power’ more widely. The three ESAs have been chosen as the case study for two reasons.
  • They operate in the politically salient sector of financial regulation, with their output potentially impacting the ‘real economy’ given the knock-on effects of financial crises. They also stand out from the generality of EU agencies due to the breadth and depth of their powers, with key responsibilities for shaping and drafting secondary legislation governing European financial services.
  • The project focuses on the production of these ‘binding technical standards’ by the ESAs and will seek to explain how and why these supposedly technical measures attract interventions from the European Commission, parliament and member states. 

MATTHEW BEVINGTON 

  • His doctoral project examines how the UK’s governing institutions for EU policy developed between 2010 and 2020 in response to, among other things, the novelty of a coalition government and the Brexit referendum.
  • Historically, the UK system for making EU policy was considered one of the most effective of any member state. Yet, leading up to and following the Brexit referendum, it appeared incoherent, unconsidered and uncoordinated. The project seeks to uncover why that was the case by looking at the interaction of organisations, institutions and practices in the main departments responsible for EU policy during this period.
  • The research will explore both the formal, structural changes in the UK system and, more importantly, the often invisible, informal means through which decisions are made. Beyond EU policy, the project will analyse such changes in the context of wider governance trends over recent decades, such as decentralisation, devolution and the personalisation of politics. The project will also contribute to ongoing debates about the democratic accountability of decision-making in government and the constitutional setup of the UK.