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Institutions of the European Union

Institutions of the European Union (4th edn)

Dermot Hodson and John Peterson
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date: 26 July 2021

p. 33414. Coreper: National interests and the logic of appropriatenesslocked

p. 33414. Coreper: National interests and the logic of appropriatenesslocked

  • Jeffrey Lewis


This chapter examines the role of the Committee of Permanent Representatives (Coreper) in the European Union. Coreper originated as a diplomatic forum to meet regularly and prepare meetings of the Council of Ministers. It evolved into a locus of continuous negotiation and de facto decision-making, gaining a reputation as ‘the place to do the deal’. Coreper is the site in EU decision-making where national interests and European solutions interact more frequently, more intensively, and across more issue areas than any other. The chapter first provides an overview of the origins of Coreper before discussing its structure and powers. It then considers how Coreper, as an institutional environment, gives rise to what neo-institutionalists call ‘logic of appropriateness’, which informs bargaining behaviour and influences everyday decision-making outcomes.

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