As a contribution to the JEPP special issue ‘Speaking with a single voice: the EU as an effective actor in global governance?’ (edited by Eugénia da Conceição-Heldt and Sophie Meunier), my article on the actorness, cohesiveness and effectiveness of the EU in international environmental negotiations was recently published.
The article analyses the actorness, cohesiveness and effectiveness of the EU in international environmental negotiations and examines the impact of the external context on the relationship between cohesiveness and effectiveness. Based on comparative data of nine international negotiations resulting in a multilateral environmental agreement, the paper shows that the EU’s cohesiveness is higher in global negotiations than in regional ones. It argues that the relationship between cohesiveness and effectiveness is not straightforward, but is affected by the relative bargaining power and the relative position of the EU. When the EU’s relative bargaining power is high, cohesiveness can be counterproductive for effectiveness, but a lack of cohesiveness is not a necessary condition for effectiveness. Furthermore, not having the most reformist position increases the likelihood of effectiveness for the EU; yet effectiveness can also be achieved with the most reformist position if the EU succeeds in making that position externally feasible.