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States' bargaining success in the European Union

Arregui, Javier and Thomson, Robert (2009) States' bargaining success in the European Union. Journal of European Public Policy, 16 (5). pp. 655-676. ISSN 1350-1763

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Abstract

This study describes and explains states' bargaining success in legislative decision-making in the European Union. We measure bargaining success by the congruence between decision outcomes and states' policy positions on a wide range of controversies. We develop and test expectations about variation in states' bargaining success from models of bargaining and legislative procedures. The analyses are based on a newly updated dataset on legislative decision-making that covers the period before and after the 2004 enlargement. The main descriptive finding is that there are no clear winners and losers among member states when a large number of decision outcomes are considered together. However, on any given issue, states typically differ markedly from each other in their bargaining success. Both bargaining models and procedural models provide insights that explain some of the variation in states' bargaining success.