Hello, welcome back. Today, we will start a number of lectures on European decision-making. We will focus on how actors may decide on a proposal for a new policy and what can go wrong in the process. The proposal could be about increasing the standards for clean air or to regulate the pay and social benefits of temporary workers from other EU countries. Will decision makers agree on a new policy and what policy will be selected? We will find out that decisions are not necessarily the best option for all. They are the best choices made by the individual decision makers in view of what others want and do. In the next lectures, we will look at problems related to sectory policy making, the role of haste in the decision-making process. And the international dimension of EU policy making. First, let's have a look at the following decision making problem. I've drawn a simple figure with three decision makers, one, two, and three. Who have most preferred or ideal positions along the horizontal issue dimension given by D1, D2, and D3. The issue dimension can be different levels of clean air, or varying social benefits to temporary workers. The current state of affairs or status quo is q. It reflects the current policy or if we have no policy yet, the situation without public policy. To determine whether these actors prefer a change, we compare point q, with D1, D2, and D3. In this setup, one and two prefer more regulation, and a change of the status quo towards the right. One and three favor a change into the same direction. For one, the best solution will be a policy equal to its ideal position. Similarly, three likes a new policy equal to D3 best. However, two prefers less regulation and want the policy to moves towards D2. If all decision makers are involved, no agreement will be possible. Two wants less regulation, while one and three want more. Any of the groups will block making a new decision. In that case, the only solution is to maintain the status quo q. If for some reason, two cannot participate, the policy can be changed by 1 and 3, moving it to a higher level of regulation. A policy like p* will be a feasible outcome. This example illustrates that the preferences as well as the location of the existing policy or status quo, metaphor the outcome. Another conclusion is that position rules matter. These are the kind of rules that Elinor Ostrom has defined as rules that determine who is and who is not a decision maker. If an actor is not allowed to participate, it may change the outcome. For example, if 2 is not included in decision making, 1 and 3 may adopt a policy like p*. Finally, when the current state of affairs is not that clear, the framing of these points also affects decision-making. Suzanne Schmidt has explored this possibility in an interesting model on the role of the European Commission. When one of the actors may convince the others that q* and not q is the right interpretation of the status quo, actor 2 may certainly be prepared to support a policy change together with 1 and 3. Framing can stem from different logics. It can be based on the convictions of one of the political actors like the Commission who would like to reform a policy. It can also be based on the expectation that case law will provide a new interpretation over requirements of European law. The way in which European policy process is organized affects the extent to which actors can play a role. Our first example is the initial discretion of Commission proposals in specialized committees both in Parliament and the Council. This structure, which developed over many years, may exclude some actors who cannot fully participate in decision making. The development of informal and nowadays rather formalized trilogues also has an impact. These are informal consultations which initially were set up to discuss the official negotiations and the concilation committee have since formed into meetings between the Council and Parliament in the first reading of the ordinary legislative procedure. If successful, these negotiations guarantee a swift conclusion of the legislative process leading to a new EU law. At the same time, actors not involved in these trilogues have little sense of what is going on and also have little time to lobby for their views. Regarding the position of the status quo, decision makers make new case law, like in the case of residency rights of non-EU family members of EU citizens. Case law largely determines what the current policy is. Furthermore, there might be obligations stemming from international agreements which affects the requirements of European policy. In the case of clean air, the non-binding guidelines of the World Health Organization seem to have an important impact on your European standards. We will explore these features of EU decision making in the following lectures. The central question is: what does the involvement of various actors do to EU policy? Will we have policy that reflects the preference of citizens or just the interest of some?