Insiders and outsiders agree; there is something particular about negotiating in Brussels. This book analyses ten years of continuous negotiations about EU enlargement to the Western Balkans, answering questions such as When and how are decisions typically reached in the European Union? What is this ‘culture of consensus' that pervades negotiations in the Council of Ministers? And why are some member states more successful than others in making their voices heard? Using the metaphor of the Caucus race from Alice in Wonderland, Smeets' book offers a fresh perspective on the decision-making realities in Brussels' European Quarter. By providing unique empirical insight into behind-closed-doors debates, it explains the faltering accession process of the countries of former Yugoslavia. But most of all, it reveals the mechanism by which national interests are accommodated, so that deals can be reached between the member states.