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Durham e-Theses
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Luxembourg in the European Union: The smallest member state in the council of ministers

Weiler, Anne Victorine (1999) Luxembourg in the European Union: The smallest member state in the council of ministers. Masters thesis, Durham University.



The present M.A. thesis deals with the status and the distinct role that Luxembourg can carve out for itself in the current, post-Maastricht institutional and decision-making framework of the European Union (EU). Our aim is to understand the way Luxembourg operates in the EU's central decision-making body, the Council of Ministers. We do not analyse the policy output and its effects on Luxembourg but the formal and informal features of the Council of Ministers and Luxembourg's interaction with it. hi view of the weaknesses that small-state status confers on Luxembourg, the small state has a persistent interest in finding strategies for managing smallness. Like other small states, the Grand-Duchy of Luxembourg sees its small-state predicament best resolved by coperating at international level. In this respect the institutional and legal framework of the European Union offers unique benefits. The Council of Ministers is the central decision-making institution of the European Union and the institution via which Luxembourg’s negotiating status and behaviour is analysed. The principle of equality of states and federal-type overrepresentation place Luxembourg in a particularly advantageous situation. Not only is the small state overrepresented but it also enjoys a disproportionately high influence under the current Council voting system. Things look different when it comes to exerting political weight. Still, Luxembourg has adopted a behaviour and strategies allowing it to overcome the weaknesses derived from its small size. It will be shown that the small state has important opportunities of action both when it acts in a neutral way and when it needs to defend important national interests.

Item Type:Thesis (Masters)
Award:Master of Arts
Thesis Date:1999
Copyright:Copyright of this thesis is held by the author
Deposited On:01 Aug 2012 11:44

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