How EU member state interests permeate into European commission decision-making: a role theoretical approach to the commission’s cabinet system
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Although the European Commission has to be immune to member state influences in order to act on behalf of the whole Union, historically its cabinets have been portrayed as national enclaves and even ‘mini-Councils’, constituting a venue for national interests to penetrate in European Commission decision-making. Despite the Kinnock reforms which led to the denationalisation of cabinets, empirical evidence whether denationalisation has an effect on the cabinets’ role as access points for national interests still needs to be discovered. This article claims that in order to test whether the denationalisation of European Commission’s cabinets has indeed prevented national interests to be represented in European Commission decision-making, the focus should be on agency rather than structure. Role theory has to contribute significantly in this regard.