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Member states and coalition building in a wider and deeper European Union


The purpose of the proposed research project is to contribute with systematic empirical data to a research field -negotiations and coalition-building in the Council of Ministers of the European Union - which is suffering from too little data to put into existing theoretical models. Current research is strong on formal modelling, but weak on empirical testing. The main empirical puzzle for the project is: Which coalitions are formed, why, and with what consequences? Special attention will be given to effects of the 2004 enlargement. It is assumed that the continuing process of enlargement and deepening of the European Union will put the negotiation system of the Council under increasing pressure. Estimating the effects is difficult, however, because of our incomplete knowledge of how the system works today.

This project will contribute to a better understanding of the basic functioning of the most important legislative body of the European Union. It will provide empirical evidence on coalition building and negotiations between member states, both before and after the enlargement of 2004. One survey has already been conducted with negotiators from all member states and a second survey will be carried out in 2005. Qualitative interviews with officials at the permanent representations in Brussels will also be used. Combining the insights from formal coalition-formation theory with empirical research on actual behaviour will be a highly innovative contribution to the field and will open doors to a deeper theoretical understanding of the negotiation system of the Council.

The purpose of the mobility period is to strengthen Daniel Naurin's capacity to initiate and manage future international research projects. No research institution is more suitable for research training within this field than the Robert Schumann Centre of the EUI. Its director, Professor Helen Wallace, is the leading scholar within the field.

Call for proposal

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Via Dei Roccettini 7
S.domenico Di Fiesole, Firenze