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Article

Cleavages, ideology and rationality: patterns of coalition-building in the Council of ministers of the European Union

This study analyzes roll call voting in the Council of Ministers from December 2003 to May 2019 in order to identify the factors that determine the strategies of coalition behavior of 28 EU Member States. The analysis makes possible to single out two important cleavages affecting the coalitional preferences of the Ministers of states. The first cleavage is observed between the EU members from Eastern and Western Europe. The second cleavage is associated with the duration of the countries’ EU membership. The rationalistic intentions of member countries related to the agenda of the Council and their ideological preferences also influence the process of coalition formation and allow the EU states to go beyond the geographic and ‘temporal’ cleavages.