RESOURCE ALERT: Explaining negotiations in the Conciliation committee – structural bias in favour of Council?

SOURCE: European Union Politics (14):3

PREVIEW: Some commentators on the institutional setup of the conciliation committee see it as structurally favouring the Council. Against this background, University of Milan scholars Franchino and Mariotto applied quantitative text analysis to 179 legislative files in the conciliation stage from the Maastricht treaty to early 2012, mainly in the areas of environment, internal market and transport.

They found that, over the whole period, the outcome of the conciliation is closer to the Council position in almost 70% of cases. This trend in favour of Council seems to be slightly slowing since the Treaty of Amsterdam. In the current term, 37.6% of dossiers ended with a text that is quantitatively more similar to the Parliament’s second reading.

Parliament was found to be slightly more successful in the last 6 months of every term. By contrast, the probability of EP success diminishes by 12% when conciliation is on new acts rather than on amendments to existing legislation. Support by the Commission is found to be a major determinant of an outcome closer to the Parliament’s position. The Council was found to prevail more on regulations than on directives.

Previous research on conciliations between 1999 and 2002 had found, however, that the EP was successful in a majority of cases, see König T, Lindberg B, Lechner S and Pohlmeier W (2007). Bicameral Conflict Resolution in the European Union: An Empirical Analysis of Conciliation Committee Bargains. British Journal of Political Science 37(2): 281–312.

Full citation: Fabio Franchino and Camilla Mariotto, Explaining negotiations in the conciliation committee. European Union Politics. September 2013. 345-365.

See the Library’s Online Bibliography for more analyses of negotiation dynamics within the Council.

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