29 Feb 2008

The European Commission after Enlargement: Does more add up to less?

Sebastian Kurpas / Caroline Gron / Piotr Maciej Kaczyński

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This comprehensive study documents the evolution of the European Commission since the 2004 enlargement, based on extensive data and interviews with Commission and Council officials, senior diplomats and external observers. Contrary to what many had expected, the Barroso Commission has not shown signs of paralysis since the new countries joined the Union. Despite the larger College and the broader range of socio-economic realities in the enlarged Union, the number of legislative acts has remained almost as high as under Prodi and that of non-binding acts has even increased. According to the study, two main developments explain this continuity: the Barroso Commission has been more careful to avoid controversy and its internal management is now more streamlined.