Ex post legislative evaluation in the European Union: questioning the usage of evaluations as instruments for accountability
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SourceInternational Review of Administrative Sciences, 82, 4, (2016), pp. 621-637
25 januari 2016
Article / Letter to editor
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Bestuurskunde t/m 2019
International Review of Administrative Sciences
SubjectInstitute for Management Research
Evaluations may perform a key role in political systems as they provide a basis for parliaments to hold their executives accountable. This is equally the case in the European Union. Yet, several factors may work against the usage of European Union evaluations for accountability purposes. Members of the European Parliament work under great time pressure and executives may have little incentives to produce high-quality evaluations. This article therefore addresses the question of to what extent and when Members of the European Parliament use ex post legislative evaluations. We present an analysis of 220 evaluations, studying how many were referred to in parliamentary questions. Our main finding is that 16% of the evaluations are followed up through questions. However, the parliamentary questions hardly serve accountability aims. Members of the European Parliament mostly use evaluations for agenda-setting purposes. The main variable explaining differences in the usage of evaluations is the level of conflict between the European Parliament and Commission during the legislative process.
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