Unanimity and exposure in the EU Council of Ministers – or how the Dutch won and lost the ICTY debate
Number of pages
SourceEuropean Journal of Political Research, 54, 2, (2015), pp. 288-304
Article / Letter to editor
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European Journal of Political Research
How are unanimity negotiations commonly settled in the EU Council of Ministers? Important contributions have been made to our understanding of the ‘consensual’ decision-making dynamics in the Council, but most studies focus on explaining the sheer absence of votes in legislative decision making under the qualified majority rule. This study seeks to explain how vetoes are averted, or curtailed, in unanimity decision making. These unanimity negotiations are explained as attempts to induce or prevent high-level exposure. The degree of exposure in turn depends on the degree of lower level contestation. A process tracing analysis of one prolonged debate is performed from the perspective of one Member State – the Netherlands – which played a very prominent obstructing role. By analysing when, why and where (at what level) the Dutch won or lost, one can come closer to understanding the dynamic interplay between the different Council levels.
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