Springe direkt zu Inhalt

Voice Without Vote – Herausforderungen für den Europäischen Wirtschafts- und Sozialausschuss und den Ausschuss der Regionen? Der Einfluss beratender Ausschüsse im Vergleich

Funding: Thyssenstiftung 

Period of Funding: November 2010 - October 2012  

Project Leadership: Prof. Dr. Diana Panke and Prof. Dr. Christioph Hönnige (University of Göttingen) 

Research Assistant: Julia Gollub  

Student Assistants: Cormac Duffy, Edwina Hanbidge, Lucie Langer, Stephen Massey, Mary Naughton, Ekaterina Solovieva 



There are hardly any political systems in and beyond the nation-state that do not incorporate committees. While decision-taking committees are often in the limelight of research, we do not know much about consultative committees, although they are as wide-spread as decision-taking committees. Consultative committees have access to decision-making arenas and can give nonbinding advice to political decision-makers, but do not possess formal voting power. 


This project sheds light on the influence of consultative committees and addresses the following research question: How and under which conditions can consultative committees exert influence although they have a voice, but no vote? 


In the  current stage of the project, we developed a sender-receiver model that is based on the notion that consultative committees as senders offer information in exchange for influence to legislative actors as receivers. From the model, we derived a set of hypotheses specifying demand and supply sides of the information-influence nexus. In using the European Union with its two consultative committees (the Committee of the Regions (CoR), the European Economic and Social Committee (EESC) as an empirical example, we comprehensively test the hypotheses with a mixed methods approach. This reveals that information supply of the CoR and the EESC has to match an information demand on the side of the European legislative actors (the Council of Ministers, the European Parliament) for the former to be influential. This is most likely if senders produce recommendations quickly that reflect a high level of expertise, whilst receivers have flexible preferences and lack administrative capacities to gather policy-specific expertise themselves.