Hidden Power Shifts: Multilevel Governance and Interstitial Institutional Change in Europe

  • Adrienne HéritierEmail author
Part of the Comparative Territorial Politics book series (COMPTPOL)


The chapter focuses on how multilevel governance affects interstitial institutional change in decision-making in the EU. Interstitial institutional change occurs if formal institutional rules are ambiguous, and in consequence, when applied, are renegotiated by actors. Each concerned actor seeks to strengthen its own institutional power in these renegotiations in order to influence policy outcomes. This leads to an informal institutional change between formal treaty revisions. Héritier argues that MLG and multi-arena governance offer additional opportunities for actors to strengthen their institutional powers in the re-negotiation of incomplete formal rules during implementation, but may also set limits to such endeavours. The chapter analyses in three cases of European politics, the nomination and investiture of the Commission President, the nomination and investiture of individual Commissioners and the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) negotiations, the conditions in which multilevel and multi-arena strategies of the European Parliament bring about an informal interstitial institutional change. All these cases imply a power shift between European institutional actors in favour of the parliament.


Institutional rules Institutional rule change Formal and informal institutional rules 


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.European University InstituteFlorenceItaly

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