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PhD defence

Political Factors Affecting European Union Legislative Decision- Making Speed

  • Y. Lei
Wednesday 27 September 2023
Academy Building
Rapenburg 73
2311 GJ Leiden


  • Prof.dr. B. Steunenberg
  • dr. R. de Ruiter


The EU decision-making processes need to meet democratic standards at the European level. This necessitates closer connections between EU decision-makers and external actors, as well as the development of an efficient and flexible political system. Therefore, it is crucial to identify important factors in the EU legislative decision-making process that may impact its speed. This understanding can assist decision-makers in identifying the root causes of legislative stagnation and devising strategies to mitigate them, ultimately leading to democratically legitimate policies to address the EU crisis. Stakeholder involvement in EU decision-making processes has become a critical aspect for the EU, particularly for the European Commission, to enhance democratic legitimacy and internal power. However, reconciling divergent stakeholder opinions poses a challenge for EU decision-makers. Based on four empirical studies, this dissertation examines why it is necessary to consider stakeholder opinions and member-states preferences, as well as how they interact to influence decision-making outcomes. By adopting an interactive perspective, this dissertation underlines those negative opinions from stakeholders impact positions taken by member states in the Council, which increases the transaction costs of bargaining among member states by prolonging the legislative process and consequently leads to efficiency losses. The findings shed light on the normative implications that explain the democratic deficit in EU legislative politics, while also offering practical insights to enhance the democratic legitimacy of EU policymaking systems.

PhD dissertations

Approximately one week after the defence, PhD dissertations by Leiden PhD students are available digitally through the Leiden Repository, that offers free access to these PhD dissertations. Please note that in some cases a dissertation may be under embargo temporarily and access to its full-text version will only be granted later.

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