Many legislative decisions of the Council of the European Union are de facto made in preparatory bodies by national officials and diplomats. Ministers rubber-stamp these committee decisions without discussion. Drawing on statistical as well as case study evidence, the study investigates the extent to which this actually occurs. Based on a formal-theoretical discussion of possible explanations, the study also examines the causes for why certain decisions are made by committee members and others by ministers. In general, the empirical findings alleviate concerns about the democratic legitimacy of Council decisions.