This book gives a comprehensive, yet practical account of the legislative process in the European Community from the inception of the idea to the final enactment of the legislation. The internal structure of the institutions involved in this process -- primarily, the Commission, European Parliament, Economic and Social Committee and Council -- is analysed in a clear, thoughtful manner that enables the reader to understand each institution's particular characteristics and its role in the legislative procedure.
Controversial issues surrounding the operation of these institutions are discussed, and solutions are offered that are based both on actual practice and a theoretical appreciation of the dynamics of the procedures involved. Particular emphasis is placed on the way in which these institutions interact during the legislative process.
The book also deals in detail with the consequences of the Treaty on European Union and the recent Edinburgh summit for the legislative process of the Community and its institutional framework. It analyses the new procedures that are introduced, in particular, the Co-decision Procedure and the principle of subsidiarity.
The effect of the Maastricht reforms on the position within the legislative process of the European Parliament and their contribution towards resolving the problem of the `democratic deficit' are also considered.