Small States – Big Negotiations Decision-Making Rules and Small State Influence in EU Treaty Negotiations

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dc.contributor.author LEHTONEN, Tiia
dc.date.accessioned 2009-04-08T15:18:27Z
dc.date.available 2009-04-08T15:18:27Z
dc.date.issued 2009
dc.identifier.citation Florence, European University Institute, 2009
dc.identifier.uri http://hdl.handle.net/1814/11148
dc.description Defense Date: 27/03/2009 en
dc.description Examining Board: Derek Beach (University of Aarhus), Adrienne Héritier (EUI/RSCAS) (Supervisor), Jonas Tallberg (University of Stockholm), Jacques Ziller (University of Pavia, formerly EUI, Law Department) en
dc.description.abstract This study examines the impact of the decision-making rules, procedures and practices of the European Union on the ability of small Member States to influence Treaty negotiation outcomes, and assesses the causality of this influence in Treaty-revision. Within Treatymaking processes, actor influence is here expected to vary according to the institutional preconditions, and small states are presumed to benefit from particular type of decisionmaking rules to the disadvantage of others. The fundamental aim of the study is therefore to investigate the conditions under which small state influence increases in European Union Treaty-negotiations. To explain this puzzle, a distinction is made between two types of Treaty-making processes, those of the Intergovernmental Conferences and the Convention, which allows for subsequent comparisons between the decision-making rules of unanimity and restricted consensus. In order to empirically test the underlying hypotheses, explicit units of observation are chosen from the IGCs of Amsterdam, Nice and 2003-04, and the Convention on the Future of the EU. In-depth comparisons are made between four small Member States – Belgium, Denmark, Finland and Ireland – and their de facto influence is process-traced through three substantial issues of the institutional reform: the composition of the Commission, the extension of qualified majority voting and the reform of Council Presidency. The empirical analysis focuses on both informal and formal levels of decisionmaking dynamics, and a further analytical distinction is made between bargaining and deliberation modes of conflict-resolution. Drawing initially on theories of rational choice institutionalism (RCI) and liberal intergovernmentalism (LI), the unanimity rule as applied in the IGCs is expected to strengthen the formal position of an individual small state by providing, respectively, a veto-right for each negotiator and promoting asymmetric interdependency. The empirical findings confirm the major underlying hypothesis concerning the correlation between the adopted decision-making rules and the small states’ impact on distributional outcomes in the EU Treaty-amending negotiations on the one hand, and the superiority of the unanimity rule for small states on the other. Yet, a couple of additional key success factors – other than can be explained exclusively along the conjectures of RCI or LI schools – are also identified in the study. en
dc.language.iso en en
dc.relation.ispartofseries EUI PhD theses en
dc.relation.ispartofseries Department of Political and Social Sciences en
dc.subject The Convention on the Future of the EU
dc.subject Decision-Making Rule
dc.subject Unanimity
dc.subject Restricted Consensus
dc.subject Rational Choice Institutionalism
dc.subject Liberal Intergovernmentalism
dc.subject Bargaining
dc.subject Argumentation
dc.subject Intergovernmental Conference
dc.subject Small States
dc.subject.lcsh European Union
dc.subject.lcsh European Union -- Decision making
dc.subject.lcsh European Convention (2002-2003: Brussels, Belgium)
dc.subject.lcsh Treaty Establishing a Constitution for Europe (2004)
dc.subject.lcsh Intergovernmental Conference of the European Union
dc.title Small States – Big Negotiations Decision-Making Rules and Small State Influence in EU Treaty Negotiations en
dc.type Thesis en
dc.identifier.doi 10.2870/2709
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