Sprawowanie przewodnictwa w Unii Europejskiej. Możliwość wykorzystania prezydencji dla partykularnego interesu państwa

Marcin Kleinowski

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.12775/DP.2010.025

Abstrakt


The Presidency is without doubt an important arrangement in the governance of the European Union . Every six months a different Member State takes over the chair of the Council of the European Union and performs several noteworthy functions. This article examines the extent to which Member States exercise influence on the timing and content of decision outcomes when they hold the presidency. The extent of the Council presidency’s political influence is the subject of disagreement among both practitioners and researchers. Presidents’ potential to use their position to advance their own interests is severely constrained by the brevity of the presidential term, only six months, and the limited extent to which they can select which issues should be on or off the agenda. Furthermore, presidents are said to abide by the normative principle that they should be ‘neutral brokers’ and refrain from using this position to further their own interests. Violation of this norm could result in criticism and retaliatory measures from other Member States. Owing to its formal position, the Presidency possesses a set of informational and procedural resources that can be used for national gain, and typically exploit the position as broker to favour the outcomes they desire. This article considers potential impact of the Presidency’s influence on decision outcomes by using the agenda-shaping powers and the brokerage powers in bargaining between member states and interinstitutional negotiations. The main thesis is that a member state benefits from holding the Presidency. The competencies of the Presidency allow a Member State to exercise an extraordinary amount of influence, during its term in office, effecting positive changes on state power. It makes available for states a wide range of the brokerage and agenda-shaping instruments to influence outcomes in European Union policy-making.

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