Department of Political Science

Oiling the wheels of compromise: The role and impact of the Council Secretariat in EU Treaty reform

Research output: Contribution to book/anthology/report/proceedingArticle in proceedingsResearch

  • Department of Political Science
The EU’s Council Secretariat plays a very important but overlooked role in helping EU governments reform EU Treaties, but the dependence of governments on the Secretariat has ‘costs’, in that outcomes are systematically skewed towards the rational-legalistic and pro-integrative/pro-Council preferences of the Secretariat. The paper first develops a theory for why governments delegate leadership functions to the Secretariat, and what effects this delegation can have. Thereafter the paper undertakes a comparative case study of two rounds of EU Treaty reform; the negotiation of the Treaty of Amsterdam in 1996-97, and the Constitutional Treaty in 2003-4. It is found that the Secretariat was more than a mere facilitator of agreement, and that leadership by the Secretariat had a significant impact upon the form of the final Treaties.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationInternational Studies Association, 2006 Annual Convention
Publication year2006
Publication statusPublished - 2006
EventInternational Studies Association Annual Convention 2006, San Diego, CA, USA - San Diego, United States
Duration: 22 Mar 200625 Mar 2006


ConferenceInternational Studies Association Annual Convention 2006, San Diego, CA, USA
LandUnited States
BySan Diego

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ID: 853183