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The Culture of Negotiation in the European Union: Reviewing Trends and Predicting Patterns of Multilateral Decision-Making

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Summary This article looks into the formal and informal facets of inter-state deliberation and negotiation among the 27 member states of the European Union. Its aim is twofold: on one hand to capture and consolidate the view of the ‘Brussels’ inter-state negotiation routine; on the other, to anticipate the evolution of the negotiation modes among member states in their daily collective decision-making. The article reviews some of the essential trends and occurrences that feature the multilateral processes of negotiation in the Council of the EU. With the support of negotiation literature, it derives from these trends a few patterns to help predict whether the culture of negotiation among the 27 member states will be positively impacted or impinged by the latest EU Treaty, which was signed in Lisbon in December 2007. The article frames and qualifies the EU culture of negotiation, while also offering a predictive lens on the future practice of negotiations among member states, which is absent from the traditional theoretical perspectives.

Affiliations: 1: Programme on European Negotiations, European Decision-Making Unit, European Institute of Public Administration Brussels Belgium


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