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Package Deals in EU Legislative Politics


  • I would like to thank Damian Chalmers, Simon Hix, Kenneth Benoit, Helen Wallace, the anonymous reviewers, and my colleagues at the London School of Economics and King's College London for their encouraging comments. Replication data are available at the AJPS Dataverse Network:, hdl:1902.1/20307.


This is an article about package deals in EU legislative politics and their effects on policy outcomes. It analyzes interchamber exchange between the Council of Ministers and the European Parliament. The main argument is that package deals allow Member States control over the financial aspects of legislation and ensure its timely adoption. In exchange, the Parliament gains access to some of the EU's most expensive policy areas. Intercameral logrolling is analyzed across all EU legislation completed in the period 1 May 1999–30 April 2007, including 2,369 issues, 1,465 legislative proposals, and 19 policy areas. The results indicate that package deals in the EU are conditional on the distributive nature of proposals and their urgency. In turn, through logrolling, the Parliament extends its influence in distributive policies.