Is There an Alternative to Consensus? The Impact of the 2014 Coalition Deal on Voting Behaviour in the Eighth European Parliament (2014–2019)

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Awenig Marié with Olivier Costa (Sciences Po)
International Journal of Parliamentary Studies


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.