The council presidency in the European Union : responsibility with power

Thomson, Robert (2008) The council presidency in the European Union : responsibility with power. Journal of Common Market Studies, 46 (3). pp. 593-617. ISSN 1468-5965

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Abstract

The extent of the Council presidency's political influence is the subject of disagreement among both practitioners and researchers. While some describe the presidency as responsibility without power, others suggest that it provides incumbent states with an opportunity to achieve decision outcomes close to their preferences. This article formulates and tests hypotheses on the conditions under which presidents influence the timing and content of decision outcomes in the legislative arena. Decision outcomes are shown to be significantly more favourable to presidents in the chair at the time of adoption than to other Member States, even after controlling for other factors that influence bargaining success.