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Quantifying European Legislative Research : using CELEX and PreLex in EU legislative studies

[journal article]

König, Thomas; Luetgert, Brooke; Dannwolf, Tanja

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Abstract Research on European legislative decision-making has entered a stage of quantitative analysis. The quantitative approach promises to advance the current dialogue by allowing for the evaluation of competing approaches across multiple policy domains and over time. At the same time, the quantitative study of EU decision-making introduces a number of drawbacks: it is difficult to identify one definitive source for legislative information, and case-level data are not directly accessible in a machine-readable format. In order to identify the most crucial pitfalls and provide a reliable data source, we evaluate the most frequently cited, publicly available EU legislative database, CELEX, and compare it with a less publicized legislative database referred to as PreLex. We find that CELEX documents legislative events, whereas PreLex records inter-institutional activities in the legislative process. Unsurprisingly, each of these databases has particular advantages, and we discuss which of the two might be better suited for the analysis of specific research questions.
Classification Political Process, Elections, Political Sociology, Political Culture; European Politics
Free Keywords CELEX; European legislation; legislative analysis; PreLex;
Document language English
Publication Year 2006
Page/Pages p. 553-574
Journal European Union Politics, 7 (2006) 4
Status Postprint; peer reviewed
Licence PEER Licence Agreement (applicable only to documents from PEER project)