A new system of government? Defining the confidence relationship of the EU model
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This paper attempts to define the EU system of government through an innovative approach that, taking into account both the legal framework and the political practice, focuses on the confidence relationship between the executive and legislative branches. This approach simplifies the comparative study of regime types, capturing the main distinctive features of systems that are neither presidential, nor parliamentary. The paper shows that the EU model does not belong to any of the traditional regime types; indeed, it represents a distinct system of government, characterised by a peculiar confidence scheme. Although the legal framework of the EU Treaties presents some elements of parliamentarism, the nature of the inter-institutional relations in the EU is not parliamentary; in particular, the role played by the European Council in the formation process of the Commission is not merely formal, and involves a much more complex confidence relationship.