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Negotiating the European Constitution: Government Preferences for Council Decision Rules


  • Madeleine O. Hosli

    () (Leiden University, Department of Political Science, Leiden, the Netherlands)


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.

Suggested Citation

  • Madeleine O. Hosli, 2012. "Negotiating the European Constitution: Government Preferences for Council Decision Rules," Czech Economic Review, Charles University Prague, Faculty of Social Sciences, Institute of Economic Studies, vol. 6(3), pages 177-198, October.
  • Handle: RePEc:fau:aucocz:au2012_177

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Madeleine O. Hosli & Mikko Mattila & Marc Uriot, 2011. "Voting in the Council of the European Union after the 2004 Enlargement: A Comparison of Old and New Member States," Journal of Common Market Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 49(6), pages 1249-1270, November.
    2. Abdul Ghafar Noury & Simon Hix & Gérard Roland, 2007. "Democratic politics in the European Parliament," ULB Institutional Repository 2013/7744, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles.
    3. Marks, Gary & Wilson, Carole J., 2000. "The Past in the Present: A Cleavage Theory of Party Response to European Integration," British Journal of Political Science, Cambridge University Press, vol. 30(03), pages 433-459, July.
    4. Madeleine O. Hosli & M. C. J. Uriot, 2011. "Dimensions of Political Contestation: Voting in the Council of the European Union before the 2004 Enlargement," Czech Economic Review, Charles University Prague, Faculty of Social Sciences, Institute of Economic Studies, vol. 5(3), pages 231-248, November.
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    More about this item


    Decision rules; Council of the European Union; institutional provisions; dimensions of political contestation; qualified majority voting;

    JEL classification:

    • C7 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Game Theory and Bargaining Theory
    • H1 - Public Economics - - Structure and Scope of Government


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