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Interests or principles? EU foreign policy in the ILO

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  • Marianne Riddervold

Abstract

This paper seeks to contribute to the debate about the role of norms in EU foreign policy by looking at EU policies in the International Labour Organization (ILO) in the making of a Consolidated Maritime Labour Convention (ILOMLC). Given the economic importance of shipping for many EU members, one would expect the EU to promote its economic interests in the ILO. However, the EU is instead described as a human rights promoter and has had positions on the ILOMC that following common EU implementation will increase costs for both ship-owners and national administrations. How can this be? I seek to answer by examining the reasons that have mobilized the EU actors to agree to the common EU policies conducted. A distinction is made between three ideal-types of reasons; pragmatic, ethical-political and moral reasons. By applying a framework that separates between different types of norms, I provide a more nuanced picture of the argument that norms influence EU policies. I conclude that moral reasons, supporting a thesis that a concern for establishing international law for the protection of human rights, have been particularly important in mobilizing the EU to promote a Convention of high standards despite of its costs.

Suggested Citation

  • Marianne Riddervold, 2008. "Interests or principles? EU foreign policy in the ILO," RECON Online Working Papers Series 9, RECON.
  • Handle: RePEc:erp:reconx:p0028
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Andreas Follesdal & Simon Hix, 2006. "Why There is a Democratic Deficit in the EU: A Response to Majone and Moravcsik," Journal of Common Market Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 44, pages 533-562, September.
    2. Daniel Naurin, 2007. "Safe Enough To Argue? Giving Reasons in the Council of the EU," ARENA Working Papers 11, ARENA.
    3. Erik Oddvar Eriksen & John Erik Fossum, 2002. "Democracy through Strong Publics in the European Union?," Journal of Common Market Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 40(3), pages 401-424, September.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

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    Keywords

    fundamental/human rights; ILO; legitimacy; national interest; policy coordination;

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