Formal versus Informal Bicameral Law-making in the European Union

Research question/goal: 

Until 1999, the legislative decision-making in the European Union (EU) between the European Parliament (EP) and the Council of Ministers was strictly regulated. Thereafter, however, an informal mode of decision-making has developed and become the norm rather than the exception. This development can be exploited to study the evolution of bicameral legislatures. Specifically, the project will analyse the impact of shifting from formal to informal bicameral legislative bargaining on the inter- and intra-chamber distribution of power as well as why and how informal legislative deals are consistently enforced. For the purpose, the project aims to develop and to test new theoretical explanations of the operation, output and institutionalization of bicameral legislatures. The findings should further increase our understanding of the impact of informal law-making on the legitimacy and representativeness of EU decisions, which daily affect more than 500 million EU citizens.

Fact sheet

2017 to 2019
Data Sources: 
Analysis of quantitative data on individual EU legislative pieces
Geographic Space: 
European Union