European Journal of Law and Economics

, Volume 38, Issue 1, pp 29–46 | Cite as

Codecision procedure biais: the European legislation game

  • Jenny Helstroffer
  • Marie Obidzinski


The European Union’s codecision procedure is analyzed as a bargaining game between the Council and the European Parliament. The model shows that the policy outcome is biased towards the ideal point of the institution that is closest to the status quo, when the negotiation leads to an agreement. If the Council’s ideal policy is closer to the status quo, as is the case for example concerning the duration of maternity leave, the resulting policy will remain closer to the Council’s than to the European Parliament’s position. Furthermore, the result of the codecision procedure is Kaldor–Hicks inefficient. The developments of common policies concerning asylum, fishery and maternity leave illustrate both the possibility of the failure of negotiations and the influence of the Council on the outcome.


Codecision European Union Council of Ministers European Parliament Law making 

JEL Classification

D72 D78 F22 K42 H53 



We would like to thank François Fontaine, Nuno Garoupa, Pierre Picard, the partcipants of the RESET seminar at the University of Luxembourg, Dieter Schmidtchen, the audiences at the annual meeting of the European Association of Law and Economics (Paris, 2010) and at the annual meeting of the European Public Choice Society (Rennes 2011) for insightful comments on earlier versions of this paper.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.BETA, Université de LorraineNancyFrance
  2. 2.CRESE, Université de Franche-ComtéBesancon CedexFrance

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