Early conclusion in the co-decision legislative procedure
Title: Early conclusion in the co-decision legislative procedure
Author: RASMUSSEN, Anne
Series/Report no.: EUI MWP; 2007/31
There are broader democratic implications in whether legislative deals are concluded between the European Parliament and the Council of Ministers in the co-decision procedure at first reading, as the potential of different interests within the legislative bodies to affect the outcomes varies considerably between this and the later reading stages. This paper therefore examines the extent to which six different explanations can account for early agreement and uses a dataset with all procedures that had their first reading in the first five years after the entry into force of the Amsterdam Treaty. The key conclusion is that factors that the institutions themselves attached importance to before the Amsterdam Treaty entered into force, such as workload and the character of the file, do not have explanatory power, whereas others, such as how close a working relationship exists between the co-legislators, the size of the file negotiated, and whether it is a new act do. Moreover, the paper adds to existing evidence of the relevance of party politics within the institutions by demonstrating that party interests also play a role across them. The chance of early conclusion increases if the negotiators from the Council and the European Parliament come from the same party family.
Subject: Co-decision; bicameral bargaining; early agreement; European Parliament; Council of Ministers; Presidency; rapporteur; party politics
Type of Access: openAccess