Title: The Institutional Foundations of European Union Negotiations (PDF 3.6MB)

Author(s): Jonas Tallberg

Paper number and date: WP 09-02, May 2009

Abstract: European Union negotiations take place within the framework of a set of formal and informal institutions. Member states negotiate in the organizational context of the Council and the European Council, take decisions through alternative procedures and decision rules, and sustain a set of norms for the conduct of negotiations. While the effects of these institutions
on negotiation behavior and outcomes have received extensive attention, the question of why these particular organizations, procedures, and norms have been established or evolved remains seriously underexplored. This article makes an argument in favor of systematic attention to the design of negotiation institutions in the EU. It suggests that there is much to benefit from drawing explicitly on general theoretical approaches to international institutional design. Reviewing existing empirical work on organizations, procedures, and norms in EU negotiations, the article finds an unexploited potential for theoretical dialogue between rational choice institutionalism, sociological institutionalism, and realism on the sources of EU negotiation institutions.

Keywords: European Union, negotiation, bargaining, institutions, organizations, rules, norms.

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