Achieving Consensus Through Committees: Does the European Parliament Manage?

Standing Committee – European Parliament – Policy-Making Process

This article examines the role of the standing committees in building consensus within the European Parliament (EP) and asks whether the ability to fulfill this function has remained stable even in the context of enlarged membership after the June 2004 elections. Findings show that committees generally work very consensually, regardless of the issue at stake and the procedure applied. At the same time, the committee system seems to be evolving towards greater differentiation across policy areas and, partially, across legislative procedures.