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Pressured budgets and the European Commission: towards a more centralised EU budget administration?

Article published in Journal of European Public Policy

Pressured budgets and the European Commission: towards a more centralised EU budget administration?

by Klaus H. Goetz & Ronny Patz

Abstract: 

Similar to many international public administrations (IPAs), the European Commission has been delegated a range of tasks related to budgeting. The Commission administration enjoys a high degree of autonomy in routine annual budget procedures leading to the adoption of the draft annual EU budgets; it also has a visible influence on inter-institutional budget negotiations. The present contribution analyses how the Commission administration has responded to growing pressures on the EU budget following the recent financial crisis, focusing on changes to its administrative organization and budgeting procedures. Both scholarship on the Commission and previous research on the administrative dimension of budgeting under stress suggest increased centralization as a key response. We find some evidence to support this expectation for the annual budget processes after 2010. Centralization was most pronounced during discussions on the 2014–2020 Multiannual Financial Framework (MFF), when regular routines came under increased pressure in entangled budget negotiations.

Link to the article.