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Voting Behavior in the Council of the European Union: The Effect of the Trio Presidency*


This paper examines the Trio Presidency and its impact on voting behavior in the Council of the European Union. Trios of Member States cooperate for 18-month periods, with each member holding the Presidency for six months. We study whether belonging to the Trio increases the probability that a Member State votes in favor of a measure. We analyze roll call votes on 1038 legislative acts from January 2007 till June 2014. Conducting probit analyses we present evidence that Member States are indeed more likely to vote in favor during their participation in Trios. We show that this results mainly from the Trio’s agenda-setting powers. Moreover, holding the Presidency itself does not further increase the probability of voting in favor.

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Philippe van Gruisen is a Doctoral Candidate at the Faculty of Economics and Business, KU Leuven, Naamsestraat 69, 3000 Leuven ( Pieterjan Vangerven is a Research Fellow at KU Leuven and FWO-Vlaanderen, Naamsestraat 69, 3000 Leuven ( Christophe Crombez is Professor of Political Economy at KU Leuven, Naamsestraat 69, 3000 Leuven and a Senior Research Scholar at Stanford University Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies, 616 Serra street, Stanford, CA 94305. ( C.C. gratefully acknowledges support from the Research Foundation—Flanders (Project G054414N) and the Special Research Fund—KU Leuven (Project 13/020).

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Political Science Research and Methods
  • ISSN: 2049-8470
  • EISSN: 2049-8489
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