Who's at the table? An analysis of ministers’ participation in EU Council of Ministers meetings
The Council of Ministers is an important part of EU decision-making. However, contrary to what is formally expected member, states are not always represented by ministers at Council meetings. Unfortunately, our knowledge of who is actually participating is limited. First, the article investigates the extent to which ministers actually participate in Council meetings. We conclude that a substantial number of the participants are not ministers. Second, based on an institutional approach, the article tests six hypotheses as to when ministers participate. Here, we find the salience of meetings, the importance of the policy area, the length of EU membership and a high share of EU-positive parties enhance the likelihood of ministerial participation. Finally, we test whether the existence of junior ministers affects the likelihood of politicians participating. Here, our findings are inconclusive. The article builds on a database including all participants in Council meetings between 2005 and 2009.