Choosing an informative agenda setter: The appointment of the Commission in the European Union

We present a game-theoretical analysis of Commission appointment in the European Union. In the model, the European Parliament and the member states look ahead and consider the outcomes that result from the appointment of alternative Commissions. In contrast to earlier work, we assume the European Parliament and the member states have incomplete information on the consequences of policies, whereas the Commission acquires private information. We find that the increased use of codecision gives the Council an incentive to appoint a Commission that is closer to the European Parliament, because the European Parliament then trusts the Commission more and the Commission is more informative as a result. Thus, we shed new light on the Spitzenkandidaten Coup that preceded the appointment of the Juncker Commission.