The council presidency in the European Union: responsibility with power

Robert Thomson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

75 Citations (Scopus)


The extent of the Council presidency's political influence is the subject of disagreement among both practitioners and researchers. While some describe the presidency as responsibility without power, others suggest that it provides incumbent states with an opportunity to achieve decision outcomes close to their preferences. This article formulates and tests hypotheses on the conditions under which presidents influence the timing and content of decision outcomes in the legislative arena. Decision outcomes are shown to be significantly more favourable to presidents in the chair at the time of adoption than to other Member States, even after controlling for other factors that influence bargaining success.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)593-617
Number of pages25
JournalJournal of Common Market Studies
Issue number3
Early online date1 May 2008
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2008


  • council presidency
  • political influence
  • power
  • responsibility


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