Cabinets in Western Europe by Jean Blondel, Ferdinand Müller-Rommel

By Jean Blondel, Ferdinand Müller-Rommel

A fully-updated moment version of the presentation of the constitution and workings of the nationwide cupboards in Western ecu international locations at the present time. This publication relies on a typical framework which permits the reader to check the origins, constitution, composition and actions of those cupboards and to attract classes from this comparability. Emphasis is put on the management and at the personality of coalitions. whilst West ecu ministers are operating ever extra heavily jointly, an information of the lifetime of nationwide cupboards is key as is an knowing of the diversities among sorts of cupboard decision-making within the context of the reforms proposed of Western ecu governments.

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That is, all the Department's acts are the acts of its minister: 'he is not empowered by statute to delegate his power to his civil servants ... the personal and final responsibility of the minister is in every instance stressed' (PSORG, 1969, 61). Typically, each member of the government is responsible for a single department or a small group of cognate departments. In recent years the number, titles and functions of departments have been altered and amalgamated more frequently. The principal act and its amendments also provide for the appointment of parliamentarians as junior ministers.

By convention votes are not recorded in the minutes of decisions and there is no established provision for recording dissent. 2 Before submission to government, proposals are prepared by officials of the sponsoring department. They may arise from administrative experience with particular problems, be initiated by special interest groups, or even be prompted by expressed media concern. Sometimes, especially in the case of incoming new governments, party manifestos identify policy priorities demanding action.

Only rarely do government backbenchers, through parliamentary party meetings, opposition parties or general interest groups not identified as clients of a particular department, succeed in promoting, or even significantly altering, the shape of new policies. 3 In coalitions in the 1990s, concern for and influence on policy formation by parliamentary parties has increased. Normally, the cabinet meets twice a week, and perhaps once a year has an intensive two-to-three day session over a weekend. Duration of meetings is much influenced by the personality of the Taoiseach: some prefer a brisk, business-like pace, while others favour a more discursive discussion that extends meetings.

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