Dataset: The European Union Legislative Output (1996-2014)

Abstract

The European Union’s(EU) institutional system is a key element of EU policy-making, as it influences both the adoption and implementation of joint decisions. However, it remains ill understood, including by the scholarly community, to a certain extent. In order to remedy this weakness in international research on the European Union, the Centre for European Studies and the Centre for socio-political data led a systematic analysis of the decision-making at a European level through an innovative scientific approach.  
This inter alia led to the establishment by the research team of a database on European institutions which have no equivalent internationally.  

First, the research team built a database which covers all the legislative acts adopted by the European Union from 1996 to 2014.
Second, to observe the decision-making, the research team defined 101 variables which explore the political logics that lead to the adoption of legislative texts by the European Union's institutions.  
The variables deal with three main aspects of the political activity:
- the activity of European Union institutions: the European Parliament (amendments, rapporteurs), the European Commission (responsible DGs and Commissioners), the Council of Ministers (Number of points A/ points B, etc.);
- the duration of the European Union legislative procedure (adoption by Commission, Transmission to Council, Final Signature);
- the activity of Member States (activity of national parliaments, national governments political composition).

Variable Groups

Document Description

Full Title

The European Union Legislative Output (1996-2014)

Identification Number

fr.cdsp.ddi.eulo.2014

Producer

Name Affiliation Abbreviation Role
Centre for socio-political data FNSP/CNRS CDSP

Producer

Name Affiliation Abbreviation Role
Centre for European Studies FNSP/CNRS CEE

Date of Production

2014-07-31

Depositor

Name Affiliation Abbreviation

Bibliographic Citation

The European Union Legislative Output (1996-2014) [dataset], Centre for European Studies (CEE) and Center for socio-political data (CDSP) [producers], Center for socio-political data (CDSP) [distributor], Version 1

Full Title

fr.cdsp.ddi.lpeu2014

Depositor

Name Affiliation Abbreviation

Study Description

Full Title

The European Union Legislative Output (1996-2014)

Identification Number

fr.cdsp.ddi.eulo.2014

Authoring Entity

Name Affiliation
Selma Bendjaballah Centre for European Studies (CEE)
Renaud Dehousse Centre for European Studies (CEE)
Geneviève Michaud Centre for socio-political studies (CDSP)

Other identifications and acknowledgments

Name Affiliation Role
Florence Deloche-Gaudez Centre for European Studies (CEE)
Romain Lalande Centre for European Studies (CEE)

Producer

Name Affiliation Abbreviation Role
Centre for European Studies FNSP/CNRS CEE
Centre for socio-political data FNSP/CNRS CDSP

Funding Agency/Sponsor

Name Abbreviation Role Grant
The French National Research Agency ANR ANR-12-BSH1-0012

Data Distributor

Name Affiliation Abbreviation
Centre for socio-political data FNSP/CNRS CDSP

Depositor

Name Affiliation Abbreviation
Centre for European Studies FNSP/CNRS CEE

Version

Version 1.1
Date: 2015-03-26

List of Keywords

Date of Collection

Start End Cycle
2012-10 2014-10

Country

Geographic Coverage

European Union and European Union Member States

Unit of Analysis

Adopted Legislative Acts by the EU institutions, as they are listed in the Council Monthly Summary of Acts

Universe

All the adopted legislative acts by the European Union institutions from 1996 (January) to 2014 (December)
The list of the adopted legislative acts has been picked up in the "Monthly Summary of Council Acts", in the Chapter "Definitive Legislative Acts".

The dataset is based on the "definitive legislative acts" as presented in the Monthly Summary of Council Acts for 2 reasons:
1° they are presumably the most important acts
2° they are the only acts for which votes cast by member states during their final adoption are systematically made public. This data is crucial since it might give an insight into other aspects of the political activity within the European Union

Mode of Data Collection

The research team designed several steps to collect the data.
1/ the research team listed manually for each year, all the adopted legislative acts with an .xls file. There are then 18 files, covering the 18 years from 1996 to 2014.
Each file contains an amount from 50 to 200 acts on average.
For each act, several information are given about the legislative act.
These information are all extracted from the three official websites of the EU institutions, i.e: OEIL (European Parliament website), Eur-lex, and the Council of the EU website
For each act, the following information will be found:
- the reference of the legislative procedure, as written on Eurlex and OEIL Websites
e.g.: 2010/COD/53, 2005/CNS/76...
- the reference of the proposal that initiates the legislative procedure, as written on Eurlex and OEIL Websites
e.g.: 2007/COM/234, 2003/BCE/12...
- the voting rule in the Council, as written on the Council Monthly Summary of Acts
e.g.: V, U
- the acronym of EU Member States which abstained or voted against the act in the Council:
e.g.: NL, FR, BE...
- the Celex reference of the act, as written on the Eurlex Website
e.g.: 32009L0021
- a "Notes" field, which sums up the information that are missing or inconsistent
e.g.: "The Celex Number on Eurlex Website is missing"..

2/ Several other information related to each adopted legislative act have been automatically extracted from the official Websites, OEIL and Eur-lex
These information deal with:
- the rapporteur of the European Parliament who examined the proposal
- the votes of the European Parliament
- the Commissioner in charge of the proposal
- the date of the proposal's transmission to the Council
- the number of Items A/ Items B under which the Council examined the proposal

3/ Finally, the research team manually retrieved, extracted, and compiled one third of the variables.  
To this end, the research team built "correspondance tables" following manual research through :
- other European Institutions websites  
- other European Research Projects led at Sciences- Po  
These information deal with:
- the Party Family of the Rapporteur of the European Parliament and the Commissioner in charge of the proposal
- the activity of National Parliaments
- the political composition of each EU Member State government, at the time of the adoption of the act

The data is under embargo period at the time of this publication.

Data Sources

More details on the variables can be found in the documents attached in the section "Related Materials".

Characteristics of Data Collection Situation

The EU adopts many acts, whose political and judicial nature varies a lot. Determining with precision what are the legislative output of the EU was sometimes a challenging task.  
In order to determine the true political productivity of the EU, all the legislative acts that have been adopted by the EU institutions from 1996 to 2014, as they are listed in the Council Monthly Summary of Acts, in the Annex I or in the Annex II, have been selected.  

The Monthly Summary of Acts have been chosen for three main reasons:
1° they are presumably the most important acts
2° they are the only acts for which votes cast by member states during their final adoption are systematically made public. This data is crucial since it might give an insight into other aspects of the political activity within the European Union
3° they are acts whose adoption is undoubtful

Following the Monthly Summary of Acts available on the Council Website, 3100 acts have been then selected and analyzed.
Obvioulsy, this focus on adopted acts means that many other acts have been left aside. For instance, the proposed legislation is not included in the study. All the acts that have been proposed, but, for some reason rejected, are then not included in the database.
However, the total corpus of acts is both representative and consistent enough to capture the political activity of the EU over time.

Related Materials

Reading Guide

Websites

Related Publications

DEHOUSSE Renaud, DELOCHE GAUDEZ Florence, DUHAMEL Olivier (eds), Elargissement, comment l'Europe s'adapte, Paris : Presses de Sciences Po, 2006, 127 p.

Enlarged by ten new member states since May 2004 and lacking the institutional reforms anticipated by the constitutional treaty after the « No » from France and the Netherlands, the European Union appears condemned to blockage. The data assembled in this work reveals, to the contrary, a stunning capacity of the EU to adapt.  

The new series « Evaluate Europe, » issued by the Observatory of European Institutions (OIE), applies unedited numerical data with the purpose of understanding and demystifying the way the European « Machine » truly functions.
The data assembled in this work reveals, to the contrary, a stunning capacity of the EU to adapt. Europe continues to decide on less, but more quickly! How can this be explained? The aim of this work is to allow everyone to participate in the debate over Europe with knowledge of the facts.

DEHOUSSE, Renaud, DELOCHE GAUDEZ, Florence, JACQUOT Sophie (eds), What is Europe Up to?, Paris : Presses de Sciences Po, 2009, 180 p.

What is Europe up to? In what areas is it taking action? Is it meeting the expectations of its citizens? These are all legitimate questions in the run-up to the European elections, questions that, all too often, prompt ideological responses.
Who’s in charge of « Europe »? Such is the power-sharing within the Union, what with the Members of the European Parliament, the Barroso commission, the country holding the EU Presidency, the ministers of the member States, it is hard to ascertain the responsibility of a specific actor or institution.
Comparisons with the United States or with France confirm that Europe remains « different » from a State. The comparison between what Europe is actually doing and what Europeans expect it to do, does expose a troubling discrepancy.
Based on a strict assessment of the activities of the European Union, this work helps to better understand the policies of European institutions, their issues and priorities, and the way in which they take on board the concerns of its citizens.

Without equivalent on a national or an international level, the « Evaluating Europe » series draws on innovative and previously unpublished data produced by the Observatory of European Institutions (OIE), set up by the Centre d’études européennes at Sciences Po with the aim of giving fully-informed access to the European debate for all.

Data Files Description

File Name

fr.cdsp.ddi.lpeu2014.NSDstat

Overall Case Count

0

Overall Variable Count

101

Type of File

Nesstar 200801

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