This article reviews a central strand of the literature on legislative decision-making in the European Union (EU): procedural spatial models. These models have gained increasing prominence during the last decade of scholarship on the EU and have considerably enhanced our understanding of the EU legislative decision-making process. However, the literature has not been without criticism and has reached a stage of theoretical stagnation. The intention of this article is twofold: first, it reviews the existing procedural spatial literature and critically discusses the lack of specification and justification of some of its key assumptions, especially those concerning actors' preferences and the characteristics of the decision-making process. In a second step, it will be argued that it is necessary to re-evaluate some of the central assumptions of procedural models. In particular, future research needs to study mechanisms of preference formation and decision-making, i.e. aggregation of preferences, within EU legislative bodies.
- EU legislative decision-making
- Policy preferences
- Procedural spatial models