"Multiple Bilateralism' within the European Union : the Dutch coalition-building network during the budget negotiations
Faculty of Social Sciences. Political Sciences
Journal of common market studies. - Oxford
, p. 426-443
University of Antwerp
Multiple bilateralism' stresses the manner in which bilateral relations between the Member States operate in function of the multilateral EU negotiation process. In order to explore how multiple bilateralism works, a network analysis has been made of the Dutch coalition-building effort during the negotiation on the Multiannual Financial Framework 2014-2020. It examines the interaction between the various actors involved in this process, such as the ministries in The Hague, the EU institutions in Brussels, the governments of other Member States and the embassies abroad. Specific attention is given to this last type of actor. Contrary to what is often assumed, bilateral embassies' contribution to the negotiation process is relatively modest. Only a few embassies, namely those in the largest EU Member States, were able to play a more important role and direct contact with Member States' capitals was considered to be the predominant channel for success.