The Dealer's Choice. Agenda-setting Dynamics in the Council of Ministers
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Since its inception in the 1950s, the European Union (EU) has evolved into a very influential institution. Many decisions that are taken at the level of the EU heavily impact developments on international, national and regional levels. However, before these decisions are made, issues have to make it onto the agenda. The process of agenda-setting in the EU is essential to the process of decision making, as it determines the issues that are discussed in the first place. This is instrumental when trying to understand the EU: there are many issues that could be discussed at EU level, but not all of them are, simply because they do not make it onto the agenda. Now it appears that the topic of remuneration of high public office holders came onto the agenda within the EU – at the Council of Ministers – on 3 December 2015, during a meeting of the Working Party on Staff Regulations. The fact that this occurred is an incentive to look further into this case. How did remuneration of high public office holders get onto the official agenda in the first place, and are there factors that explain its rise? Therefore the main question that should be answered in this thesis is: Which factors are important in the agenda-setting dynamics in the Council of Ministers?