Mode(l)s of decision-making in the Council of the European Union

Andreas Warntjen

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The Council of the EU is a crucial actor in EU legislative decision-making. However, how its reaches decisions is subject to considerable debate. Constructivists argue that the dominant mode is normguided behaviour and deliberation, pointing to the informal ‘culture of consensus’. Scholars working in a rational choice tradition assume that member states strive to move outcomes as close as possible to their ideal positions, either by using their power in bargaining or by arranging beneficial exchanges of votes. Several bargaining and exchange models have been advanced by this literature. Finally, studies report that actors in the Council engage in problem-solving. In this paper, I explore the logics underlying these different conceptualizations of legislative negotiations in the Council of the EU. Furthermore, the paper discusses the interpretation of the existing empirical results and tasks for future research.
Original languageUndefined
Number of pages21
Publication statusPublished - 23 Apr 2009
Event11th Biennial International Conference of the European Union Studies Association - Los Angeles, CA, USA, Los Angeles (USA)
Duration: 23 Apr 200925 Apr 2009


Conference11th Biennial International Conference of the European Union Studies Association
CityLos Angeles (USA)
Other23-25 April 2009


  • METIS-256870
  • IR-102830

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