Research Project - Democratic Legitimacy in the EU: Inside the 'Black Box' of Informal Trilogues
Can the EU govern efficiently and with the people? Almost all EU legislation is now agreed in an early stage, facilitated by informal 'trilogue' negotiations in which a small number of representatives of three EU institutions bargain behind closed doors and present the agreement for approval in public meetings. We examine the complex dynamics of this 'black box' and assess the ability of EU institutions to bargain successfully, to foster or preclude political contestation, to create political coalitions across institutions, and avoid capture by special interests. We do this by combining, first, a comprehensive, large-scale analysis of patterns of trilogue negotiations, tracing systematically the evolution of Council and EP preferences in order to determine their respective bargaining success (package 1); second, in-depth process-tracing studies to explore what happens when issues with high political stakes enter the world of trilogues, i.e we examine the conditions under which informal trilogues affect bargaining success by looking at intra- and extra-institutional actors and their strategies to manage information flows (package 2) and explore how both mainstream and Eurosceptic and/or radical political groups mediate cross-institutional contestation (package 3). A fourth section (package 4) will bring these findings together to explain how patterns of contestation affect the evolution of preferences during the course of legislative negotiations.
Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG)
Ariadna Ripoll Servent (2019). “The New European Parliament: More Eurosceptic?”, Blog, The UK in a Changing Europe, 16 September 2019.
Ariadna Ripoll Servent and Lara Panning (2019). “Preparatory Bodies as Mediators of Political Conflict in Trilogues: The European Parliament’s Shadows Meetings”, Politics and Governance, vol. 7(3), pp. 303–315.
Ariadna Ripoll Servent & Lara Panning (2019). "Eurosceptics in Trilogue Settings: Interest Formation and Contestation in the European Parliament", West European Politics, 42(4), pp. 755-775.
During our event of 18 June 2019 on the future challenges of trilogues, kindly hosted by the Representation of the Free State of Bavaria, all participants agreed that trilogues are indispensible to the EU legislative system. But there were calls for more accountability and transparency in interinstitutional negotiations. Based on our research, we recommend the following (194.1 KB)to increase the accountability and transparency of trilogues, without jeopardizing the space to negotiate.
Prof. Dr. Ariadna Ripoll Servent
Feldkirchenstraße 21, Room FG1 01.13, 96052 Bamberg
Dr. Gijs Jan Brandsma (Utrecht University)
Professor Justin Greenwood (University of Aberdeen)
Christilla Roederer-Rynning (University of Southern Denmark)
Feldkirchenstraße 21, Room FMA 00.03, 96052 Bamberg