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Explaining Contestation: Votes in the Council of the European Union

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Advances in Collective Decision Making

Abstract

In this chapter, we study voting behavior in the Council of the European Union (EU) for the time span of 2010 to 2021. We use Council voting data, examining the impact of different independent variables on member states’ voting behavior: net contributions to the EU budget, voting power, left–right policy positions, and finally, the distance of a member state’s ideological position from the position of the winning coalition under the qualified majority voting (QMV) rule. We investigate more than 1229 legislative decisions taken in the Council, based on over 30,000 votes. Controlling for public attitudes toward the EU and whether a member state held the Council presidency, we use a random effects binomial logit model in which we divide votes into two categories: support and objection. Moreover, we also apply an ordered logit model in which voting decisions are ordered based on the level of support for a vote. Our results show that net contributors to the EU budget are more likely to contest a vote in the Council of the EU. Similarly, the further the ideological position of a member state from the one of a winning coalition, the higher the chance it contests the vote. We find no evidence, however, for a clear relation between voting power and the probability of contestation.

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Notes

  1. 1.

    This dataset has been compiled by Arash Pourebrahimi. It is the basis for his forthcoming dissertation on decision-making in the European Union.

  2. 2.

    https://www.consilium.europa.eu/en/general-secretariat/corporate-policies/transparency/open-data/voting-results.

  3. 3.

    This extraction has been conducted by Arash Pourebrahimi and constitutes part of his PhD dissertation (Leiden University).

  4. 4.

    https://ec.europa.eu/eurostat/web/population-demography/demography-population-stock-balance/database.

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Correspondence to Madeleine O. Hosli .

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Pourebrahimi, A., Hosli, M.O., Roozendaal, P.v. (2023). Explaining Contestation: Votes in the Council of the European Union. In: Kurz, S., Maaser, N., Mayer, A. (eds) Advances in Collective Decision Making. Studies in Choice and Welfare. Springer, Cham. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-031-21696-1_18

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