The Council and European council in EU justice and home affairs politics

Authored by: Christof Roos

The Routledge Handbook of Justice and Home Affairs Research

Print publication date:  November  2017
Online publication date:  November  2017

Print ISBN: 9781138183759
eBook ISBN: 9781315645629
Adobe ISBN:


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Research on the EU policy area of justice and home affairs (JHA) almost inevitably touches upon the ‘Council’. The Council is the most influential EU institution and is the gatekeeper for member state interests (Lewis 2015: 221), particularly with regard to JHA issues and their sovereignty relevance. Therefore, almost any study on legislative politics in the EU policy area of JHA includes an analysis of one or more governing bodies that comprise the Council. The bodies are the European Council and its permanent president in which heads of state or government decide and define the JHA agenda, the JHA Council headed by the respective member state holding the rotating six-month Council presidency as part of the Council of the European Union where the home affairs ministers negotiate and make the decisions, the Committee of Permanent Representatives (COREPER) where ambassadors (COREPER II for JHA) from member states take preparatory decisions for the ministers, and, at the lowest level, the eighteen working parties consisting of national experts and JHA counselors that channel Commission proposals into the Council bodies for a decision (A-point) or further discussion (B-point) to the higher levels (de Schoutheete 2006; Puetter 2012; Maricut 2016).

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