This book examines how the EU functions when it participates in international environmental negotiations. In particular, this book looks at the internal EU decision-making process with regard to international negotiations that lead to multilateral environmental agreements. By studying eight such decision-making processes, the book analyses how much negotiation autonomy (or ‘discretion’) the EU negotiator (the European Commission or the Council Presidency) enjoys vis-à-vis the member states it represents and how this particular degree of discretion can be explained. The book’s empirical evidence is based on extensive literature review, primary and semi-confidential document research, as well as interviews with EU decision-makers.
Theoretically, the book applies a refined principal-agent model to the EU decision-making process and the relations between the EU negotiators (as agents) and the member states (as principals). Methodologically, Qualitative Comparative Analysis (QCA) and in-depth case studies are used.