Actorness, cohesiveness and effectiveness of the EU in international environmental negotiations

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.

Book launch and panel debate ‘The Foreign Policy of the European Union’

The College of Europe (Department of EU International Relations and Diplomacy Studies), the University of Leuven (LINES, LCGGS, Centre for European Studies), the Université catholique de Louvain (Institut de Sciences politiques Louvain-Europe) and the Permanent Representation of Belgium to the EU are pleased to invite you to the launch of the second edition of the book ‘The Foreign Policy of the European Union’ by Stephan Keukeleire and Tom Delreux (Palgrave Macmillan, 2014, 2nd ed., 390 pp.).

The book will be presented on Tuesday, 20 May at 12.15 p.m. in the framework of a panel debate with the two authors, Stephan Keukeleire (College of Europe/University of Leuven) and Tom Delreux (Université catholique de Louvain), as well as Karel De Gucht (Commissioner for Trade) and Richard Youngs (Carnegie). The debate will be introduced by Ambassador Dirk Wouters (Permanent Representative of Belgium to the EU) and Sieglinde Gstöhl (College of Europe). The debate will be followed at 1.30 p.m. by a reception hosted by Ambassador Dirk Wouters.

The book launch event is free of charge, but due to limited space, online registration is required by 14 May 2014.

During the book launch, the English bookshop ‘Waterstone’s Brussels’ will make the book available with a special discount.

New book: ‘The Foreign Policy of the European Union’ (2nd edition)

The book ‘The Foreign Policy of the European Union‘ (Palgrave Macmillan, 2nd edition), co-authored by Stephan Keukeleire and myself, is available now.

The book gives a comprehensive account of the EU’s foreign policy. Movingbeyond the Common Foreign and Security Policy and the Common Security andDefence Policy, it demonstrates the scope and diversity of the EU’sforeign policy and shows how areas such as trade, development, environmentand energy are inextricable elements of it. The book examines the EU’s keyforeign relations – with its neighbourhood, with the US, China and Russia,and with the emerging powers – and argues that the EU’s foreign policyneeds to be understood not only as a response to crises and conflicts, butalso as a means of shaping international structures and influencinglong-term processes. Setting its analysis in historical context, thesecond edition has been updated throughout to take account of the latest trends, issues and research.

More information can be found here.

Paper presentations at the 8th Pan–European Conference on International Relations

I will present two papers at the 8th Pan–European Conference on International Relations in Warsaw. The first paper examines the state of the art of principal-agent studies in the field of EU external action, the weaknesses and the strengths of these applications and the methodological challenges that principal-agent scholars face when applying principal-agent theory to the study of the EU’s external action. The second paper discusses the application of the literature on new-institutionalism, principal-agent models and bureaucratic politics to EU foreign policy. The full program of the conference can be found here.

Paper presentation at UACES 2013 Leeds

At the UACES annual conference in Leeds, Anahita Sabouri and I will present a paper in which we a principal-agent framework on the case of informal trilogue negotiations in the EU. In such negotiations, the rotating Presidency and the rapporteur from the European Parliament try to reach an agreement on a legislative file so that an agreement can be concluded in first or second reading. Our paper, entitled ‘Negotiating early agreements in EU trilogue meetings: a double principal-agent model‘, examines how the principal-agent model can contribute to our understanding of the relations between the rotating Presidency and the Council on the one hand, and between the rapporteur and the European Parliament on the other hand. The full program of the UACES conference can be found here.

Paper presentation on UNEP reform at the workshop ‘EU External Environmental Governance Beyond its Neighbourhood’

The Kolleg-Forschergruppe (KFG) ‘The Transformative Power of Europe’ of the Freie Universität Berlin organizes a workshop on ‘EU External Environmental Governance Beyond its Neighbourhood’ in Berlin, where I will present a paper entitled ‘The impact of internal and external institutional reforms on EU external environmental governance’. In the paper, I discuss how the EU positions itself towards and contributed to the debates on UNEP reforms. The program of the workshop can be found here.

OPAL conference on ‘National Parliaments and Multilevel Democracy in Europe’

OPAL, the Observatory of Parliaments after the Lisbon Treaty, organizes an international conference in Berlin on 7-8 March 2013 on ‘National Parliaments and Multilevel Democracy in Europe‘. François Randour and I will present a paper on the involvement of the Belgian national parliament in EU decision-making and the parliamentary scrutiny on EU affairs that takes place (or does not take place) in the Belgian parliament. Our paper will be published in the forthcoming ‘Palgrave Handbook of National Parliaments and the European Union‘.

Call for papers: The institutional dimension of the EU’s external relations

I am organizing a panel on ‘The institutional dimension of the EU’s external relations’ at the ECPR General Conference in Bordeaux (4-7 September 2013). Here is the abstract that sets out the main aims of the panel :

This panel examines the relation between and within the main institutions of the EU in the context of the EU’s external relations. It aims to provide answers to two main questions. First, how do the European Commission, the Council of Ministers, the European Parliament, the European Council and the Court of Justice interact when the EU participates in international negotiations? Second, how do the internal functioning of the institutions and the internal constellation of preferences impact on the roles, bargaining power and effectiveness of the EU at the international level?

The panel welcomes contributions that analyse the institutional determinants of the EU as international actor/negotiator, principal-agent analyses of the EU’s external policy-making, evaluations of the origins and consequences of the differences in the EU’s external representation arrangements across different policy areas, and comparative analyses of the institutional dimension of various external action policy domains of the EU. The panel especially welcomes papers that address the role of the ‘new’ institutions in the EU’s external relations (EP, European Council), that study the influence of the external context on the inter- and intra-institutional relations in the EU, or that present theoretically-informed analyses of new empirical data.

For more information on the General Conference, please visit the ECPR’s webpage (you find more information – as well as a link to submit your applications – under the section ‘Assessing the Responsiveness of European Union Institutions’). Deadline for application is the 1st of February 2013.