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EU trade policy


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EU trade policy

  1. 1. EU TRADE POLICY Do interest groups hamper the EU’s reputation as a champion of trade liberalisation? Adelina Valeva Katalin Jakucs
  2. 2. Contents:Contents:  The EU in world trade  EU trade policy - institutional structure  Lobbying the EU trade policy  The Commission – pan-European solutions  National governments and the Council of Ministers – protectionist lobbying  Lobbying the European Parliament?  Are NGOs influential?  Concluding remarks EU Trade Policy
  3. 3. The EU in world trade EU Trade Policy
  4. 4. The European Commission
  5. 5. The Council of Ministers
  6. 6. The European Parliament
  7. 7. Lobbying EU Trade policy • Business representation is relatively recent • High degree of institutional complexity • The Commission works intensively to solicit business input in order to gain bargaining leverage vis-à-vis third countries and EU MS. • ‘Two channel logic of trade policy lobbying:  Corporate actors to be successful if propose pan-European trade policy solutions to the Commission in liberalizing trade.  Protectionist goes through the national route  NGOs fairly limited in influencing policy outcomes but present; willing to make the trade policy process more transparent. EU Trade Policy
  8. 8. Lobbying the European Commission • The Commission is happy to hear the views of business – new EU-level business representation encouraged by the Commission • Two objectives: technical expertise and finding pan-European solutions to prevent disputes with MS • Works closely with industry representatives in financial services and telecommunication services; DG Trade and DG Industry – stable relations with groups • Firms – immediate advantage or long-term goals EU Trade Policy
  9. 9. National governments and the Council of Ministers – protectionist lobbying • Protectionist lobbying goes through the national channel • By aiming to affect the consensus in the Council • Politicians have incentives to satisfy the demands of interest groups • National interest groups push their government to block a trade agreement in the Council • Nationalist lobby only successful when backed by the government • For example: Agriculture vs. Textile sector (Woll, 2006) EU Trade Policy
  10. 10. The role of the European Parliament after Lisbon • “effective interest representation in the Parliament […] requires wider coalitions, better networking, non- technical approaches, combined with an acute sense for regional or even local political priorities”. (Lehmann, 2009) • the enhanced powers of the EP in the post-Lisbon era have opened it up as a new point of access for trade policy lobbyists •lobbying the EP is challenging due to its political fragmentation and multiple access points •lobbysts have to be very fined- tuned to the local and regional priorities of individual MEPs •it seems that business groups will continue to focus most of their lobbying efforts on the Council EU Trade Policy
  11. 11. Are NGOs influential? • NGOs find it difficult to threaten or enhance political actors’ chances of re-election or re-appointment • NGOs are unlikely to have the option to threaten withdrawal of investment or employment • NGO representatives are rarely in a position to provide precise and detailed policy information • They defend extreme positions that are difficult to achieve • NGOs’ influence on trade policy outcome is unsignificant h u i i EU Trade Policy
  12. 12. Do interest groups hamper the EU’s reputation as a champion of trade liberalisation? • interest groups are present and work closely with the Commission in order to propose pan-European trade liberalization solutions • interest groups interact with national governments when trying to push for protectionist measures • however, protectionist lobby is only successful when backed by the government • societal groups do not exercise influence over policy outcomes • when the Commission opts for pan-European regulation instead of pan-European liberalization it is not a result of successful trade policy lobbying EU Trade Policy
  13. 13. References • De Bièvre, Dirk/Dür, Andreas 2005. Constituency Interests and Delegation in European and American Trade Policy, in: Comparative Political Studies 38: 10, 1271-1296. • De Bièvre, D. and Dür, A. 2007. 'Inclusion without Influence? Civil Society Involvement in European Trade Policy', Journal of Public Policy. • Dür, Andreas 2008a. Bringing Economic Interests Back Into the Study of EU Trade Policy-Making, British Journal of Politics and International Relations 10: 1,27-45. • Meunier, S. 2005. Trading Voices: The European Union in International Commercial Negotiations. first ed. Oxfordshire: Princeton University Press. • Mugge, D. 2004. Financial Liberalization and the European Integration of Financial Market Governance, 03/4 December. Koln. • Nugent, Neill 2006. The Government and Politics of the European Union, Houndmills. • Woll, C. 2006. Trade Policy Lobbying in the European Union: Who Captures Whom? Max Planck Institute for the study of societies, 06/7 October. • Zimmermann, H. 2006. Wege zur Drachenzähmung. Die EU und die USA in den Verhandlungen um die Aufnahme Chinas in die WTO, 1985–2001, BadenBaden. EU Trade Policy