Gendering the Council system

Authored by: Gabriele Abels

The Routledge Handbook of Gender and EU Politics

Print publication date:  March  2021
Online publication date:  March  2021

Print ISBN: 9781138485259
eBook ISBN: 9781351049955
Adobe ISBN:


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As ‘masters of the treaties’ the EU member states are represented by the Council, a body ‘of utmost importance in the institutional system of the EU’ (Naurin and Wallace 2008, 2). The Council is more than a single institution, however, involving a complex, opaque system of negotiation and decision-making. We first need to differentiate between the European Council and the Council of the EU; consisting of multiple councils, the latter relies on preparatory bodies and various committees in its essential operations. Its key purpose is to secure a balance between the intergovernmental mode of decision-making and the supranational community method. Regardless of one’s theoretical perspective, the Council(s) comprise the intergovernmental component of EU decision-making processes, accounting for ‘a substantial body of literature’ (Naurin 2018, 1526).

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