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Back to Panel Details
Back to Panel Details

Politicisation and the Council of the European Union

European Politics
European Union
Institutions
Voting
Negotiation
Quantitative
Decision Making
P290
Philipp Broniecki
University of Essex
Christine Reh
Hertie School of Governance
Christine Reh
Hertie School of Governance
European Union

Saturday 09:00 - 10:40 (09/09/2017)

Building: BL09 Eilert Sundts hus, A-Blokka Floor: 1 Room: ES AUD6

Abstract

Over the past decade, the European Union (EU) has become increasingly politicised. The “permissive consensus” that used to characterise integration has given way to a “constraining dissensus” (Hooghe & Marks), with the EU’s political system and its legitimacy becoming fundamentally contested. At the supranational level, politicisation is featuring in the Eurozone and the refugee crisis, in the Spitzenkandidaten process and the Eighth European Parliament (EP), and in public contestation over hitherto secluded policy-fields, such as trade and monetary policy. At the national level, Euroscepticism is on the rise, recent EU referendum campaigns were deeply adversarial, and the Brexit vote has sent political shock waves across the continent. Against the backdrop of the EU’s changing political and institutional dynamics, this panel explores whether, why and how politicisation impacts on the Council of Ministers. The Council is a particularly promising arena to investigate how politicisation plays out “in Brussels”. To start with, the consequences of the EU’s contestation for domestic politics are increasingly well-explored, but we know much less about the impact of politicisation on established patterns of debate, decision-making and representation in the EU’s institutions. In addition, the Council has, traditionally, been characterised as consensus-oriented: driven by the search for compromise between member states, by the limited use of contested voting, and by the need to generate legitimacy through persistent negotiation between national diplomats and the accommodation of domestic concerns. By contrast, in line with both, the recent politics of Europe and the latest research on the Council (which shows a direct impact of national elections on intergovernmental negotiation; questions the norm and purpose underlying consensus; and demonstrates a steep increase in contested voting post-Lisbon), this panel asks whether the EU’s politicisation is changing the Council, moving its decision-making towards greater adversity, less cooperation, more public signalling, and a stronger domination of domestic political and economic interests. The panel’s papers each explore a specific dimension of politicisation and its consequences for the Council: 1) the impact of Brexit for continued cooperation and network cohesion among the EU’s remaining members (Huhe, Naurin & Thomson); 2) the political and economic pre-conditions for sustaining the—highly contested—Schengen and Dublin regimes (Schneider); 3) the long-term effect of opening up the Council’s legislative deliberation to the public (Wratil & Hobolt); and 4) the role of salience and impatience in overcoming conflict and gridlock in intergovernmental negotiation (Broniecki, Obholzer & Reh). Drawing from but going beyond established theoretical arguments and extant data on Council decision-making, our panel will thus shed new light on how politicisation affects the process, politics and outcome of negotiation between the member states of the European Union.

Title Details
Schengen-Dublin: The Regime that Wasn’t There View Paper Details
Decision-Making and Networks in the Council of the European Union after Brexit View Paper Details
Debates in the Council of the European Union (DICEU): A New Dataset View Paper Details
Success Despite a Deadlocked Council: How Salience and Impatience Affect Legislative Bargaining in the EU View Paper Details