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Between Potential, Performance and Prospect: Revisiting the Political Leadership of the EU Commission President

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Müller, Henriette

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Abstract This contribution argues that although the latest EU treaties formalized the Commission presidency to substantial degree, it remains a constitutionally weak office for the provision of political leadership. The capacity to lead thus still strongly depends on the individual incumbent. As a first step, the article examines the legal-procedural structure of the office before and after the Lisbon Treaty came into force. Secondly, it analyzes the political leadership performance of the Commission president José Barroso in comparison with his predecessor Jacques Delors. In bridging formal institutional rules with concrete performances this article contributes to the understanding of the relationship between structure and agency in international institutions as well as to the growing literature on political leadership in the European Union. (author's abstract)
Keywords EU; political leadership; political power; career politician; government office; European Commission; president; political institution; political system; policy implementation; multi-level system; Lisbon Treaty
Classification Political Process, Elections, Political Sociology, Political Culture; European Politics
Free Keywords Jacques Delors; José Manuel Barroso
Document language English
Publication Year 2016
Page/Pages p. 68-79
Journal Politics and Governance, 4 (2016) 2
Issue topic New Approaches to Political Leadership
ISSN 2183-2463
Status Published Version; peer reviewed
Licence Creative Commons - Attribution