The EU's Choice of Regulatory Venues for Trade Negotiations: A Tale of Agency Power?

22 Pages Posted: 22 Oct 2007

Abstract

This article focuses on the EU's strategy for choosing regulatory venues to negotiate trade agreements. It analyses the existence of a clear venue hierarchy since the late 1990s and the recent change leading to a blurring of any clear preference for using bilateral, inter-regional or multilateral settings. The article challenges domestic explanations of the EU's choice of venue, stressing the autonomy of the Commission as a major factor. Using a principal-agent framework, it shows that the Commission's agenda-setting powers, the existence of interest divergence among principals (e.g. Member States, business groups) and the multi-level system facilitate agency.

Suggested Citation

Elsig, Manfred, The EU's Choice of Regulatory Venues for Trade Negotiations: A Tale of Agency Power?. JCMS: Journal of Common Market Studies, Vol. 45, Issue 4, pp. 927-948, November 2007, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1022814 or http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1468-5965.2007.00754.x

Manfred Elsig (Contact Author)

University of Bern ( email )

Gesellschaftsstrasse 49
Bern, BERN 3001
Switzerland

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