Title: (How) do norms guide Presidency behaviour in EU negotiations? (PDF 3.6MB)

Author(s): Arne Niemann & Jeannette Mak

Paper number and date: WP 09-10, May 2009

Abstract: This article takes stock of the growing body of research on the EU Presidency, a vital player in EU negotiations. The paper also suggests new avenues of research, among which we prioritise one issue cluster: we ask under what conditions and in what way (following which social logic) norms guide Presidency behaviour? Our focus is directed towards the impartiality norm as that norm most strongly influences whether, and to what extent, Presidencies act as a ‘broker‘, one of the Presidency functions that has received most attention in the literature. We also suggest a number of pointers concerning methodology and operationalisation of the above question for empirical research. We conclude with some brief thoughts on the implications of our proposed approach to Presidency norms for bridgebuilding between rationalist and sociological accounts.

Keywords: Council Presidency, EU negotiations, norms, sociological institutionalism, rational choice institutionalism

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