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Title: The UK's negotiation of its EU budget rebate
Author: Lee, Chung Hee
Awarding Body: University of Glasgow
Current Institution: University of Glasgow
Date of Award: 2011
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This thesis is an investigation of Britain’s negotiations of its EU budget rebate. It attempts to answer the main question of why Britain decided to reduce its rebate in the 2005 financial negotiation for the financial perspective for 2007-2013, instead of defending the rebate. What motivated Britain’s behaviours in the rebate negotiations? Drawing upon European integration theories, particularly Liberal Intergovernmentalism (LI), this thesis challenges LI’s lack of explanation of the role of domestic political parties in shaping the formation of a national preference, member states’ behaviours in inter-state bargaining, and the role of the presidency of the Council in EU institutions. This thesis emphasises the role of domestic political parties in shaping member states’ approach on European integration which affects member states’ behaviours within decision-making. In Britain, the governing parties’ ideologies are not only a lens to evaluate European integration but also bring about intra-party factions and cross-party factions in shaping Britain’s approach. In contrast to LI’s explanation of member states’ behaviours, this thesis adopts the constructivists’ argument of a ‘logic of expected consequentialism’ and a ‘logic of appropriateness’ in order to explain Britain’s behaviours in financial negotiations and argues that the governing party’s attitude is a decisive factor for Britain in choosing its behaviour from the two logics above. In addition, with regard to the debate between rational choice institutionalists and sociological institutionalists on the role of the presidency of the Council in EU decision-making, Britain is able to choose its behaviour in the role of the presidency as decided by the governing party’s approach. When Britain has pro-European approach and its preferences are a central issue in blocking a financial agreement, it may be that the UK presidency’s appropriate behaviour makes extraordinary concessions on their preferences to secure deals that will enhance their reputation as presidency. Since the time of Britain’s initial membership negotiations, this behavioural logic has been evident in the EU’s budgetary decision-making. In the 2005 financial negotiation, the UK presidency’s pro-European approach recognized that its rebate was a central issue in blocking the negotiation. Consequently, after lengthy and difficult negotiations, the UK presidency decided to make a concession about the reduction of the rebate in order to achieve the financial agreement.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: HG Finance ; JN Political institutions (Europe) ; JN101 Great Britain