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Free to Trade? Commission Autonomy in Economic Partnership Agreement Negotiations

Publiceringsår: 2010
Språk: Engelska
Sidor: 205-223
Publikation/Tidskrift/Serie: Journal of European Public Policy
Volym: 17
Nummer: 2
Dokumenttyp: Artikel i tidskrift
Förlag: Taylor & Francis


In this article, we suggest that the degree of (dis)unity - both between the member states (MS) in the Council and within the Commission - is a key factor in affecting the balance between Commission autonomy and MS control in international trade negotiations. We shed empirical light on this issue, and on the relative influence of MS and the Commission in general, through a case study of the Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) negotiations between the European Union (EU) and the African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) countries. We suggest that the differing preferences and priorities among MS and the relative cohesiveness of the Commission provided the Commission with quite a high degree of autonomy during all phases of the EPA negotiations. The informational and procedural advantages given by its institutional position as sole negotiator also contributed to the significant autonomy of the Commission.


  • Political Science
  • cohesiveness
  • ACP countries
  • Commission autonomy
  • EPA negotiations
  • member state control
  • trade negotiations


  • ISSN: 1350-1763

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