Explaining the Institutional Foundations of European Union Negotiations
Journal of European Public Policy 17 (5): 633-647, 2010
16 Pages Posted: 25 Nov 2012
Date Written: 2010
European Union negotiations take place within the framework of a set of formal and informal institutions. Member states negotiate in the organizational context of the Council and the European Council, take decisions through alternative procedures and decision rules, and sustain a set of norms for the conduct of negotiations. While the effects of these institutions on negotiation behavior and outcomes have received extensive attention, the question of why these particular institutions have been established or evolved remains underexplored. This article makes an argument in favor of systematic attention to the design of negotiation institutions in the EU, and suggests that we should draw on general theoretical approaches to institutional design for these purposes. Moreover, rather than engaging in the exercise of trying to prove or falsify theoretical approaches, we should exploit the potential for explanatory complementarities in concrete empirical domains. To this end, the article advances a domain-of-application approach to institutional design and illustrates its applicability to EU negotiation institutions through four empirical illustrations.
Keywords: European Union, negotiations, bargaining, institutional design, Council of Ministers, European Council
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation