The Effects of Supranational Delegation on Policy Development

Manuele Citi*, Mads Dagnis Jensen

*Corresponding author for this work

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Studies on delegation to international organizations have extensively examined the determinants of supranational delegation. Yet, systematic empirical accounts on the effects of different types and degrees of delegation on policy developments remain limited. This paper addresses this gap by using a novel dataset that combines delegation data from the Treaty of Rome with data on legislation and case law developed by the European authorities (1958–2000). The analysis produces three findings. First, a higher level of delegation of legislative and executive functions has a positive effect on the volume of secondary legislation, but no effect on the volume of case law. Second, a higher level of judicial delegation has a positive effect on the volume of case law, while limiting legislative activity. Third, the precision of the Treaty provisions constrains the volume of secondary legislation. The findings show how the type and intensity of supranational delegation shape supranational policy development.
Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Common Market Studies
Issue number2
Pages (from-to)337-354
Number of pages18
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2022

Bibliographical note

Published online: 17 June 2021.


  • European union
  • Supranational delegation
  • Policy development

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