According to conventional wisdom, in areas where the Council of the European Union is supposed to decide by qualified majority voting, it does not vote but rather decides ‘by consensus’. This article aims to explain why the Council does not vote and what ‘consensus’ means. Given that consensus is often used by international organizations and EU institutional bodies, it is important to explain how it differs from unanimity. The article argues that formal voting is avoided because it would disclose the identity of opponents and would be detrimental to the negotiation process. Furthermore, ministers tend not to register their opposition even when they remain unsatisfied with an adopted measure because they expect to be blamed by their constituencies for having failed to defend national interests. Consensus is not necessarily used to signal that a general agreement is reached. It sometimes results from a strategy of blame avoidance that conflicts with democratic accountability.
|Titolo:||The Silence of Ministers. Consensus and Blame-Avoidance in the Council of the European Union|
|Data di pubblicazione:||2013|
|Appare nelle tipologie:||2.1 Articolo su rivista |