Associate Professor of Politics at Richmond, Dr Eunice Goes, recently presented a paper entitled, Turning the Page on Austerity? The Role of Consensus-Building Statecraft in Multi-Level Governance at the annual conference of the Political Studies Association at the Nottingham Conference Centre (based at Nottingham Trent University).

Dr Goes’ paper, which was presented on a panel devoted to Contemporary Social Democracy, analyses how the Portuguese socialist minority government was able to obtain approval for its four budgets in the period 2015-2018 by both the national parliament and the European Commission.

The paper challenges the idea that the Europeanisation of public policy empowers national executives and argues instead that the socialist minority government was able to get its four budgets approved because it put in place a complex network of institutional and informal relations operating in the national and European arenas, which was managed by deploying a consensus-seeking style of statecraft.

Because the management of this complex network required substantial resources as well as intense bargaining and compromises with actors that had veto powers, the Portuguese government was not in total control of the policy-making process.

The paper is part of an ongoing project of Eunice Goes on social-democratic governance in a Europeanised setting.