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Goetz, Klaus H. (2014): Time and Power in the European Commission. In: International Review of Administrative Sciences, Vol. 80, No. 3: pp. 577-596 [PDF, 373kB]


Major recent studies of the European Commission have emphasised the growing politicisation and centralisation as important trends transforming its organisation. The present article analyses the role that time rules and temporal practices that structure the operation of the Commission have played in these trends. It finds a clear temporal subtext to politicisation and centralisation. This becomes evident when one examines two key time-sensitive relationships: between the political level – the College of Commissioners – and the administrative level; and between central coordination units – notably the Secretariat-General – and line units. Political time-setting, monitoring and enforcement have assumed greater prominence, reducing the temporal discretion of the administration; central ‘keepers of the clock’ have acquired greater power; and traditional bureaucratic advantages in time budgets and time horizons have diminished.

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