Consensus is a key feature of the European Union. In the European Parliament, most legislation is adopted by a grand coalition between the left and the right. While this trans-partisan cooperation has always been informal, the epp and S&D groups agreed on a formal political coalition in 2014. For the first time in the ep’s history, this grand coalition was based on a policy programme negotiated by the two groups’ leadership. Based on roll-call vote data, this paper aims to understand the impact of this deal on actual coalition-building in the ep plenary. We find that the 2014 coalition deal provided a framework that incentivises legislative actors to increase their levels of cooperation on the issues on which they usually cooperate the least.