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Explaining Bargaining Success in Informal Trilogues in the European Union

European Union
Quantitative
Decision Making
European Parliament
Maximilian Haag
Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München – LMU
Maximilian Haag
Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München – LMU

Abstract

This paper studies the determinants of bargaining success in informal trilogue meetings in the European Union. While this mode of decision-making is becoming more and more popular, it’s outcomes and dynamics are largely understudied in a quantitative context. Making use of recent developments in text analysis and trilogue research, the study relies solely on public documents to analyze bargaining success in the secluded trilogue negotiations. I argue that characteristics of the policy under discussion as well as the procedural setup of the process play important roles in the attainment of bargaining success. The negotiating delegations of the European Parliament (EP) and the Council find themselves in a two-level game where they can use their intra-institutional constraint to extract bargaining power at the inter-institutional level. Negotiators are able to point to their tied hands if they can convincingly claim that the members of their parent institutions would not accept alternative policy proposals. Employing a minimum edit distance measure between an institution’s negotiation mandate and the trilogue outcome as a measure of bargaining success, this analysis examines the influence of intra-institutional as well as policy-specific factors on EP and Council preference attainment. Furthermore, differences and similarities in determinants and success of the institutions are discussed with a view to the organizational differences between the two and other possible causes.