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The European Commission and International Trade Negotiations: A Principal-Agent Approach. IES WORKING PAPER 2/2011

Padurariu, Amelia (2011) The European Commission and International Trade Negotiations: A Principal-Agent Approach. IES WORKING PAPER 2/2011. [Working Paper]

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    Starting from the concept of delegation of power in external trade policy, this paper aims to investigate the dynamics surrounding the European Union’s position in international trade negotiations. The analysis centres on the role of the European Commission (the agent), which by means of Treaty-based delegation and as mandated by the Council (the principal) acts as the sole trade negotiator in the international sphere on behalf of the European Union (EU). The broader negotiating process is thus conceptualised as a threelevel game, where the Commission holds an intermediary position between the European and international levels and also interacts with the Member States in the Council. After an insight into the European decision-making process for external trade, the paper further analyses the Commission’s role during the multilateral trade negotiations of the Doha Development Round. By applying the principal-agent theory to international trade negotiations in general, and subsequently to the controversial agricultural negotiations, this paper seeks to investigate some of the potential sources of autonomy that the Commission can draw upon while upholding an EU position at the international level, in addition to the “hardball” job of balancing the interests of the Member States with those of World Trade Organisation (WTO) partners. Along these lines, the paper finally aims to contribute to the literature concerning agency autonomy in EU external trade relations but also to provide a better understanding of inter-institutional relations within the EU as they may unfold in practice.

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    Item Type: Working Paper
    Subjects for non-EU documents: Countries > Albania
    EU policies and themes > External relations > international trade
    Subjects for EU documents: UNSPECIFIED
    EU Series and Periodicals: UNSPECIFIED
    EU Annual Reports: UNSPECIFIED
    Series: Series > Institute for European Studies (Brussels) > Working Papers
    Depositing User: Phil Wilkin
    Official EU Document: No
    Language: English
    Date Deposited: 12 Feb 2015 12:23
    Number of Pages: 40
    Last Modified: 12 Feb 2015 12:23

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