Article: Unveiling Inconsistency: Consensus and Contestation along the Council–Comitology Cycle of EU Policy-Making

Authors: Ana Mar Fernández Pasarín, Nuria Font

Doi: https://doi.org/10.1111/jcms.13244

Abstract

Do Member States behave inconsistently along the EU policy life cycle? Existing research has extensively examined patterns of conduct in the Council and in comitology. However, the question of whether national governments’ behaviours differ along both stages of EU policy-making is under-explored. This article examines whether and under what conditions voting outcomes along the Council–comitology cycle differ. Based on a dataset combining voting records in the Council and in comitology, the study tests hypotheses derived from delegation theory and demonstrates that legislative contestation, changing legislative preferences, and stringent delegation procedures increase inconsistency. Moreover, it demonstrates that inconsistency increases when there is contestation in the Council and changes in national governments’ preferences between the two votes increase. Ultimately, inconsistency is associated with the reversal of Council contestation in comitology.

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