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Interventions and Negotiation in the Council of Ministers of the European Union

James P Cross
University College Dublin
James P Cross
University College Dublin
Open Panel

Abstract

Making interventions during legislative negotiations in the Council of Ministers is the primary way in which member states make their policy positions known to one another, and attempt to influence the negotiation process. While the interventions made by member states during the course of negotiations are of central importance to understanding the legislative process, relatively little attentions has been paid in the academic literature to the factors which influence a member state’s decision to make an intervention. This paper seeks to address this gap in our understanding of the Council decision-making process, by analysing a new dataset that specifies which member states are intervening, and at what level of negotiation within the Council they are doing so. It will be shown that there are significant differences between the intervention behaviour of different member states, and that these differences can be explained to some degree by the structural characteristics of the policy space within which member states negotiate. New insight into Council negotiations will be gained by examining the role that structural characteristics of the policy space play in influencing member states’ intervention behaviour during legislative negotiations.