The nexus of bicameralism : Rapporteurs’ impact on decision outcomes in the European Union

Costello, Rory and Thomson, Robert (2011) The nexus of bicameralism : Rapporteurs’ impact on decision outcomes in the European Union. European Union Politics, 12 (3). pp. 337-357. ISSN 1465-1165

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Abstract

When the chambers of a bicameral legislature must negotiate to reach a decision outcome, the bargaining strength of each side is affected by the composition of its negotiating delegations. We examine some of the implications of this proposition for legislative negotiations between the European Parliament (EP) and the Council of Ministers. We develop and test hypotheses on how the bargaining success of the EP is affected by the choice of its chief negotiator, the rapporteur. Our findings support the argument that negotiators in a bicameral setting play a ‘two-level game’, where bargaining strength is shaped by the degree to which negotiators can credibly claim to be constrained by their parent chamber.