Towards an institutional perspective on representation : ambiguous representation in the European Commission
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- CES Working Papers 
This study explores the multiple representational roles evoked by Commission officials. The article has a dual ambition: The first is to outline an institutional perspective on representation that seizes a middle-ground between intergovernmental and neo-functional notions of representation. The second ambition is to empirically illuminate this perspective inside the Commission. Based on survey and interview data on temporary hired officials in the Commission, The empirical observations support an institutional perspective on representation in two ways. First, Commission officials tend to evoke multiple representational roles. Hence, the uni-dimensional approaches on representation offered by intergovernmental and neo-funcationalist accounts are challenged. Secondly, the composite mix of representational roles evoked by Commission officials reflects the organisational boundaries and hierarchies embedding them. Representation within the Commission is indeed a balancing act that is considerably biased by the formal organisation of the Commission, the multiple organisational embeddedness of the staff, their degrees of organisational affiliation towards the Commission, their modes of interaction within the Commission, as well as their educational backgrounds.