Opposition or Consensus in the Justice and Home Affairs Council? The How and Why of Increasing Member State Contestation over EU Policy

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    Abstract

    The article fills a research gap on voting behaviour in the Justice and Home Affairs (JHA) Council by presenting an analysis of 12 years of voting records (2004 to 2016). Consensus, said to be the default option for EU decision-making, was also dominant in the JHA field. However, the research observes a tremendous increase in ‘no’ votes and abstentions during the post-Lisbon period. In explaining contestation, a qualitative analysis of interview data and voting statements identifies four dominant reasonings: contestation can be related to member states’ sovereignty concerns, imply a critique on the respective proposal’s expected functionality, mark a misfit with national rules and politics, or point to unwanted budgetary effects. The findings show that the JHA Council has become more publicly political and has come to be a venue for national expression of discontent over the details of an EU Area of Freedom Security and Justice.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)569-586
    Number of pages18
    JournalJournal of European Integration
    Volume41
    Issue number5
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 4 Jul 2019

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