Negotiating the European Constitution: Government Preferences for Council Decision Rules
Year: 2012 Volume: 6 Issue: 3 Pages: 177-198
Abstract: This paper explores what preferences governments held in the negotiation process on the European Constitution regarding European Union (EU) institutional provisions and decision rules. Applying logistic regression and ordered probit techniques to the data collection ‘Domestic Structures and European Integration’ (DOSEI), and complemented by graphical and descriptive explorations, the paper reveals cleavages between governments’ positions that can be discerned in the negotiation process on the European Constitution. Regarding decision rules to be used in the Council, member state preferences clearly differ according to the length of EU states’ membership, with older members, in general, favoring a low decision threshold for the Council. Similarly, older EU states were stronger supporters of the application of qualified majority voting (QMV) than were newer EU member states. In addition to this, our analysis reveals that smaller EU states and those facing Euroskeptic domestic publics tended to be more supportive of a low decision threshold in the Council of the EU.
JEL classification: C7, H1
Keywords: Decision rules, Council of the European Union, institutional provisions, dimensions of political contestation, qualified majority voting
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