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Non-decision on the "Seat Issue" of the European Parliament : the politics of agenda setting in the European Union

Papp, V.C. (2008) Non-decision on the "Seat Issue" of the European Parliament : the politics of agenda setting in the European Union.

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Abstract:This study deals with a politicized problem observed in the decision-making process of the European Union: the “seat issue” of the European Parliament. The objective is to find a comprehensive and coherent explanation for the non-decision on the “seat issue”, or why is it not on the decisional agenda of the EU. The theoretical framework built up to guide the research integrates theories of agenda setting, agenda denial strategies and policy change that were considered relevant and appropriate to explain the situation. John Kingdon’s “Multiple Streams Framework” represents the core of this framework. The perspective is actor-centered in the context of a “messy” political system. The focus is on actors as “stakeholders” in the governance of the EU, and their strategies to set the agenda, or to deny access for some issues. The empirical findings established that the non-decision on the “seat issue” is determined by the missing of the coupling of the problem, policy and political streams. These findings confirm that “who pays attention to what and when” is crucial. The position and the power of the political “entrepreneurs” constitute the first important condition that has been met in order for the issue to get to the decisional agenda. The nature of the issue itself or how it is defined is the second element which has significant impact on the trajectory of it. The time dimension has the same importance as the first two factors. In addition, the “venue” of action can facilitate or actually block the access of the issue or problem to the decisional agenda. Answering the question “why the seat issue is neglected from the decisional agenda” might be critical for more insights about the politics of the EU. It aids our understanding of decision-making in the EU throwing more light on the structural biases inherent in this process. It gives a structured view about the state of the “seat issue” and it clarifies some controversial aspects. The main academic contribution of this study would be the extension of some theoretical approaches to the EU level where they were little used before, trying to find a coherent answer for the specific problem under analysis
Item Type:Essay (Master)
Faculty:BMS: Behavioural, Management and Social Sciences
Subject:88 social and public administration
Programme:Public Administration MSc (60020)
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