I am trying to write an essay with regards to whether the European Commission has been in political decline since the ealry 1990's. i was going to consider the following
- the introduction of co-decision and subsequent reduction in the influence of the comm
- Increasing power of the ep (the drive to compensate for the democractic deficit)
- issues with regards to maladministration and the resignation of the Santer comm (i.e. public loss of confidence, need for reform)
- not overestimating the affect of co-decision
- increases in power of have tended to be small and incremental i.e. Commission is now able to bring a member state to the Court of Justice after it refuses to comply with the judgement of the Court, and impose a financial penalty on it.
Any suggestions - ie stuff i'm missing?
I think you're on the right track. The timeline is certainly an issue, and determining how and when the 'decline' may have begun is important. I would think around 1991-1992, when it was pushing through the 1992 single-market programme. That would have been the peak, and the decline would have begun there. I think the 1992 Maastricht treaty was, in many ways, a failure for the Commission, that was only made worse by subsequent ratification difficulties. While it endorsed a single currency it gave members too much control over progress towards the euro. And although it brought both foreign policy and home affairs into the EU's purview, it did so in two new ``pillars'' that deliberately curtailed the commission's role.
I also might recommend looking into the following, they might also fit into categories you already have:
The increasing power of the Council of ...
The solution is a comprehensive analysis of the European Commission since the 90's.