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Transparency vs efficiency? A study of negotiations in the Council of the European Union

Hagemann, Sara ORCID: 0000-0002-0104-1782 and Franchino, Fabio (2016) Transparency vs efficiency? A study of negotiations in the Council of the European Union. European Union Politics, 17 (3). 408 - 428. ISSN 1465-1165

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Identification Number: 10.1177/1465116515627017


Recent studies suggest there is a direct trade-off between transparency and efficiency in legislative politics. We challenge this conclusion and present a bargaining model where one particular kind of transparency - the publication of legislative records - works to overcome problems of incomplete information. We also present empirical findings from legislative activities in the Council of the European Union from 1999 to 2014, and from 23 interviews with senior officials in Brussels. Our results show that increased transparency, in the form of publication of legislative records, does not lead to gridlock or prolonged negotiations. On the contrary, recordings of governments’ positions help facilitate decision-making as it increases credibility of policy positions. This, in turn, lowers risk of negotiation failure and screens out marginal amendments.

Item Type: Article
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Additional Information: © 2016 The Authors
Divisions: European Institute
Subjects: J Political Science > JN Political institutions (Europe)
Date Deposited: 04 Oct 2016 13:35
Last Modified: 15 Nov 2023 18:33

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