The many faces of the Council of the European Union: A study of decision making in the Council
Recent research shows that there is a slow but steady decrease in minister involvement in the Council of the European Union. This decrease cannot be explained by contemporary research and recent rational theoretical assumptions rather indicate that the minister involvement should be increasing. This thesis aims to clarify why the empirical evidence of minister involvement does not correspond with rational theoretical assumptions. The thesis clarifies and develops the theory and also makes a contribution to the on-going research of Council decision making theory and how the minister involvement influence Council and EU politicization. By using a mixed-method strategy a quantitative data study is conducted and the analyses of its results are used to implement an interview study with relevant DG units within the Council general secretariat. The result of the thesis shows us that underlying variables affecting minister involvement have not been taken into account when performing research into Council decision making. The main identified variable is instead that the clarity of EU-competence within a certain area clearly influences whether or not a minister becomes involved. These results can be used to further develop and test the theoretical understanding of Council decision making.