Between ‘National’ and ‘European’ Interests: Small Countries and Their Presidencies of the European Union

by Boštjan Udovič and Marjan Svetličič,

The article looks into the relationship between national and common European interests in the case of the small countries’ presidencies of the Council of the European Union. Based on a self-evaluation of the Council of the European Union presidencies of Slovenia, Sweden, Belgium, Hungary and Denmark, the article presents three conclusions. Firstly, national interests are, in the case of Council of the European Union presidencies, more relevant for small states than theory predicts. Secondly, small states treat national and common interests as twins during their EU Council presidencies, which means they try to pursue both at the same time. Finally, external/random factors have a greater influence on EU Council presidencies than ‘objective factors’, such as country size, duration of membership/presidency experience.

published in Vol 18 – No 2 – 2018 // General issue
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