The European Commission as Network Broker

Susana Borrás

Abstract


Recent transformations in the European Union have been putting significant pressure on the management function of the European Commission. Examining its brokerage position in policy networks, this article asks what kind of role does the Commission have in the political interactions in Brussels after the year 2000. Developing a conceptual framework about brokerage roles in EU policy, the article uses a combination of quantitative and qualitative data in an empirical analysis of two very different cases where the Commission has been embattled the past years. The article argues that previous reports of the Commission’s demise are much exaggerated, because it continues playing a leading role in managing interaction between multiple actors at different levels of governance. The empirical results show that the Commission is a resilient central network broker.

Keywords


Governance, networks, network approach, leadership, interest intermediation, open coordination

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