Negotiations in the Council of the EU under a new institutional setting: the case of the asylum policy
Sara Silvestre (2022) Negotiations in the Council of the EU under a new institutional setting: the case of the asylum policy, Journal of Contemporary European Studies, DOI: 10.1080/14782804.2021.2022463
This study aims to explain how changes in the institutional setting influenced and shaped member states’ capabilities and negotiation behaviour in the Council of the EU, focusing on the asylum policy. By combining the actor-centred institutionalism framework with the literature on EU decision-making, bargaining, and Europeanisation, it argues that the observed ‘mixed-motive game’ in the Council can be explained by the interrelation and interaction of five factors: issue-salience, voting rule, consensus norm, the ordinary legislative procedure, and the type of legal instrument. Negotiations in the asylum policy after the Lisbon Treaty are not just a matter of bargaining strategies to maximise member states’ self-interest or just the search for creative joint solutions to the problems. Rather, there is a coexistence of both conflict and cooperation, in which self-interested actors accommodate joint solutions to obtain a non-zero-sum game. Actors are still perceived as rational, who seek to maximise their self-interests. However, their course of action and behaviour are now more constrained by the EU institutional setting.