This article analyses the circumstances under which the European Commission implements its legislative programme on time. Similar to many national governments the European Commission announces an annual Work Programme, where it identifies important legislation it plans to propose within 12 or 18 months. This study is based on an original dataset of 233 legislative proposals listed in the Work Programme in the period 2005–2012. I show that the Commission implements at least 94% of its legislative programme, where 76% of the proposed legislation is formally introduced within the deadline. The empirical analysis provides evidence that procedural and technical complexity decreases the probability of timely implementation. In addition, proposals listed in Work Programmes that allow for the introduction of some proposals within the extended deadline of 18 months are more likely to be introduced on time. The size of the gridlock interval, as defined in spatial models, does not have a statistically significant effect.
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