The Informal Politics of Codecision: Introducing a New Data Set on Early Agreements in the European Union

31 Pages Posted: 13 Jun 2014

See all articles by Edoardo Bressanelli

Edoardo Bressanelli

University of London - European and International Studies

Adrienne Heritier

Max Planck Institute for Research on Collective Goods; European University Institute - Robert Schuman Centre for Advanced Studies (RSCAS)

Christel Koop

King's College London

Christine Reh

University College London

Date Written: June 2014

Abstract

One of the most important developments in the history of the EU’s codecision procedure has been the steep rise in “early agreements” since 1999, and the shift of legislative decision-making from public inclusive to informal secluded arenas. As part of a wider research project on “The Informal Politics of Codecision”, this working paper launches a new data set on all 797 legislative files concluded under codecision between 1999 and 2009. The paper discusses the process of data collection and coding; explains and justifies the operationalisation and measurement of key variables; and elaborates on the methodological challenges of capturing informal political processes. The paper offers rich descriptive statistics on the scale and scope of early agreements across time, and explores how key characteristics of the legislative file (legal nature, policy area, complexity, salience, policy type, duration) and of the main negotiators (priorities of the Council Presidency, ideological distance between Parliament’s rapporteur and national minister, Presidency’s workload) co-vary with decision-makers’ choice to “go informal”. Demonstrating that early agreements are not restricted to technical, urgent or uncontested files but occur across the breadth of EU legislation, and increasingly so with time in use, the data strongly underline the relevance of informal decision-making for scholars and policy-makers alike.

Keywords: Codecision, early agreements, trilogues, informalisation, 1999-2009, file characteristics, negotiators’ properties

Suggested Citation

Bressanelli, Edoardo and Heritier, Adrienne and Koop, Christel and Reh, Christine, The Informal Politics of Codecision: Introducing a New Data Set on Early Agreements in the European Union (June 2014). Robert Schuman Centre for Advanced Studies Research Paper No. RSCAS 2014/64. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2448865 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2448865

Edoardo Bressanelli (Contact Author)

University of London - European and International Studies ( email )

Virginia Woolf Building
22 Kingsway
London, WC2B 6NR
United Kingdom

Adrienne Heritier

Max Planck Institute for Research on Collective Goods ( email )

Poppelsdorfer Allee 45
Common Goods: Law, Politics and Economics
D-53115 Bonn
Germany
+049(0)228 914160 (Phone)
+049(0)228 9141655 (Fax)

HOME PAGE: http://www.mpp-rdg.mpg.de/herit.html

European University Institute - Robert Schuman Centre for Advanced Studies (RSCAS)

Villa La Fonte, via delle Fontanelle 18
50016 San Domenico di Fiesole
Florence, Florence 50014
Italy

Christel Koop

King's College London ( email )

London
United Kingdom

Christine Reh

University College London ( email )

Gower Street
London, WC1E 6BT
United Kingdom

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