The little engine that wouldn’t: supranational entrepreneurship and the Barroso Commission

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Hodson, Dermot (2013)

This paper seeks to evaluate and explain the degree of supranational entrepreneurship shown by the European Commission following the global financial crisis. Focusing on the period 2007–2011, it finds that the Commission used its right of initiative and/or mobilised ideas and information to pursue a supranational European Union (EU) economic policy in few cases. These findings are explained with reference to strategic entrepreneurship, that is the Commission’s reluctance to support integrationist initiatives unless they stand a chance of success, and by the fact that partisanship took precedence for the EU executive over the pursuit of integration in some cases. The Commission could yet capitalise on the crisis but its actions in this period call for greater attention by scholars to preference formation by supranational actors as well as a reconsideration of what it means for the EU executive to lead.
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