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What Single Voice? European Institutions and EU–U.S. Trade Negotiations


  • Meunier, Sophie


The member states of the European Union (EU) have transferred their sovereignty over trade policymaking to the supranational level. When entering into trade negotiations with third countries, they must first reach a common bargaining position among themselves and later defend that position with a “single voice” at the international table. How do the institutional rules, through which the fifteen different voices are aggregated into a single one, affect international outcomes? Differentiating between a “conservative” and a “reformist” negotiating context, I argue that voting rules and negotiating competence in the EU determine both the probability that the negotiating parties conclude an international agreement and the substantive outcome of the negotiations. The recent EU–U.S. trade negotiations on agriculture, public procurement, and open skies are all evidence that, for a given distribution of preferences, internal EU institutional mechanisms affect the outcomes of international trade agreements.

Suggested Citation

  • Meunier, Sophie, 2000. "What Single Voice? European Institutions and EU–U.S. Trade Negotiations," International Organization, Cambridge University Press, vol. 54(01), pages 103-135, December.
  • Handle: RePEc:cup:intorg:v:54:y:2000:i:01:p:103-135_44

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    Cited by:

    1. Liao, Christine Marie & Pasadilla, Gloria O., 2005. "Does the Philippines Need a Trade Representative Office?," Discussion Papers DP 2005-26, Philippine Institute for Development Studies.
    2. Julian Bergmann & Arne Niemann, 2015. "Mediating International Conflicts: The European Union as an Effective Peacemaker?," Journal of Common Market Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 53(5), pages 957-975, September.
    3. Konrad, Kai A. & Cusack, Thomas R., 2013. "Hanging together or being hung separately: The strategic power of coalitions where bargaining occurs with incomplete information," Discussion Papers, Research Unit: Market Behavior SP II 2013-202, Social Science Research Center Berlin (WZB).
    4. Cornelia Woll, 2009. "Who Captures Whom? Trade Policy Lobbying in the European Union," Post-Print hal-00972851, HAL.
    5. Eugénia Da Conceição, 2010. "Who Controls Whom? Dynamics of Power Delegation and Agency Losses in EU Trade Politics," Journal of Common Market Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 48, pages 1107-1126, September.
    6. Cornelia Woll, 2009. "Who Captures Whom? Trade Policy Lobbying in the European Union," Sciences Po publications info:hdl:2441/f5vtl5h9a73, Sciences Po.
    7. Sangeeta Khorana & Maria Garcia, 2013. "European Union–India Trade Negotiations: One Step Forward, One Back?," Journal of Common Market Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 51(4), pages 684-700, July.
    8. Ulrich Krotz, 2009. "Momentum and Impediments: Why Europe Won't Emerge as a Full Political Actor on the World Stage Soon," Journal of Common Market Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 47, pages 555-578, June.
    9. repec:bla:jcmkts:v:55:y:2017:i:4:p:832-849 is not listed on IDEAS
    10. Ludmila BORTA, 2014. "The European Union’S Bilateral Approach," CES Working Papers, Centre for European Studies, Alexandru Ioan Cuza University, vol. 6(4), pages 6-17, December.
    11. Armin Ibitz, 2015. "Towards a global scheme for carbon emissions reduction in aviation: China’s role in blocking the extension of the European Union’s Emissions Trading Scheme," Asia Europe Journal, Springer, vol. 13(2), pages 113-130, June.
    12. Cornelia Woll, 2006. "Trade Policy Lobbying in the European Union: Who Captures Whom?," Working Papers hal-00972822, HAL.
    13. Jonas Tallberg & Thomas Sommerer & Theresa Squatrito, 2016. "Democratic memberships in international organizations: Sources of institutional design," The Review of International Organizations, Springer, vol. 11(1), pages 59-87, March.

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