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The EU as a negotiator in multilateral chemicals negotiations: multiple principals, different agents

Delreux, Tom. (2007) The EU as a negotiator in multilateral chemicals negotiations: multiple principals, different agents. In: UNSPECIFIED, Montreal, Canada. (Unpublished)

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    [From the introduction]. This paper deals with the question how the European Union operates in international negotiations resulting in a multilateral environmental agreement (MEA). As the European Community (EC) does not have exclusive competences on environmental issues, MEAs are mixed agreements, meaning that both the EC and the member states are a party to it. As a result, the EC and the member states participate in the negotiations. While the EC participation is regulated in article 300 TEC, which appoints the Commission as the negotiator, there is no legal framework at the EU level for the member states part (Delreux T., 2006). However, practice learns that the member states often decide to pool their voices and delegate negotiation autonomy to the Presidency or another member state. From a legal perspective, this generates a hybrid situation in which the Commission should negotiate for issues falling under EC competences and the member states separately (or via the Presidency or a third member state, if they want) for the issues of national competence. The two case studies in this paper on two negotiations on international chemicals management (PIC and POPs) point out that this hybrid situation is not always followed in practice. As speaking with a single voice is considered to increase the EU’s bargaining power, the EU negotiation arrangement and the question ‘who negotiates on behalf of the EU?’ become particularly relevant. To frame this question theoretically, I rely on principal-agent theory. The next section applies this model to the EU decision-making process during negotiations resulting in MEAs. Moreover, I extent the traditional model in a twofold way. Firstly, I introduce private information for the principals, the compellingness of the external environment and the cost of no agreement to understand this process. Secondly, I broaden the model for exclusive EC competences to shared competences and mixed agreements. In section 3, I apply this model on two international chemicals negotiations of the end of the 90s: the Rotterdam PIC Convention and the Stockholm POPs Convention. Section 4 summarizes the conclusions.

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    Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (UNSPECIFIED)
    Uncontrolled Keywords: International negotiations; international chemicals management (PIC and POPs); Rotterdam PIC Convention; Stockholm POPs Convention.
    Subjects for non-EU documents: EU policies and themes > External relations > common foreign & security policy 1993--European Global Strategy
    EU policies and themes > Policies & related activities > environmental policy (including international arena)
    EU policies and themes > EU institutions & developments > institutional development/policy > decision making/policy-making
    Subjects for EU documents: UNSPECIFIED
    EU Series and Periodicals: UNSPECIFIED
    EU Annual Reports: UNSPECIFIED
    Conference: European Union Studies Association (EUSA) > Biennial Conference > 2007 (10th), May 17-19, 2007
    Depositing User: Phil Wilkin
    Official EU Document: No
    Language: English
    Date Deposited: 10 Jul 2008
    Page Range: p. 26
    Last Modified: 15 Feb 2011 17:50

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