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Leadership in European Union Negotiations: The Presidency of the Council

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This article argues that the Presidency of the Council of Ministers plays a crucial leadership role in policy making negotiations in the Council of the European Union (EU). The analysis begins with a detailed description of leadership resources available to the Presidency. Sufficient resources of coercion, reward, legitimacy, socialization, expertise and information exist to support the thesis that the Presidency plays a major role. Based on these findings, the most effective leadership strategy of the Presidency is defined as guiding the negotiating parties toward the achievement of common ends through a cooperative process. Further study reveals that a more sophisticated understanding of leadership can be developed by linking strategies to leadership contexts. The paper concludes that the Presidency has the potential to play an effective leadership role and that the interplay between different sources of leadership is important to understanding the dynamics of multilateral negotiation.

Affiliations: 1: Program on Negotiation, 513 Pound Hall, Harvard Law School, Cambridge MA 02138, USA


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