The influence of the Netherlands on the policy and decision making process in the European Union

Date of Award




Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)


International Studies

First Committee Member

Joaquin Roy - Committee Chair


The Netherlands is a founding member of the European Union, as well as one of the smaller members. Because of the organizational structure of the European Union, the level of influence through formal channels (voting) in the policy- and decision-making process is limited for the Netherlands. Therefore, it must focus on informal channels, both on national and European levels. This study developed a model of influence through formal and informal channels. This model is based on integration theory, small states theory, and the decision-making model in the European Union. An index of potential influence is developed as well to calculate the level of influence of a middle-sized country in the European Union.This model and index are tested with two case studies. One case study examined the negotiation process of the Maastricht Treaty and the role of the Netherlands. The second case focused on former Dutch Prime Minister Ruud Lubbers' candidacy for president of the European Commission.


History, European; Political Science, International Law and Relations

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