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How Agents Weaken their Principals’ Incentives to Control: The Case of EU Negotiators and EU Member States in Multilateral Negotiations

How Agents Weaken their Principals’ Incentives to Control: The Case of EU Negotiators and EU... Abstract This article examines why and how agents weaken the incentives to control of their principals when the EU negotiates international agreements. Based on analyses of various EU decision‐making processes on international trade and environmental agreements, this article argues that the EU negotiator‐as‐agent has a number of tools to affect the cost–benefit analysis on the basis of which the member states‐as‐principals decide on the activation of their control mechanisms. In order to avoid that the member states reject the international agreement reached by the EU negotiator (the Commission and/or the Presidency), the latter needs to reduce the range of behavioural options of the former. Three strategic paths are available to the agent to weaken its principals’ control incentives: (a) calibrating the member states’ involvement in the international negotiations, (b) being the first mover in determining its own instructions, and (c) exploiting the inconclusiveness among the member states. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Journal of European Integration Taylor & Francis

How Agents Weaken their Principals’ Incentives to Control: The Case of EU Negotiators and EU Member States in Multilateral Negotiations

Journal of European Integration , Volume 32 (4): 18 – Jul 1, 2010
18 pages

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References (18)

Publisher
Taylor & Francis
Copyright
Copyright Taylor & Francis Group, LLC
ISSN
1477-2280
eISSN
0703-6337
DOI
10.1080/07036331003797554
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Abstract This article examines why and how agents weaken the incentives to control of their principals when the EU negotiates international agreements. Based on analyses of various EU decision‐making processes on international trade and environmental agreements, this article argues that the EU negotiator‐as‐agent has a number of tools to affect the cost–benefit analysis on the basis of which the member states‐as‐principals decide on the activation of their control mechanisms. In order to avoid that the member states reject the international agreement reached by the EU negotiator (the Commission and/or the Presidency), the latter needs to reduce the range of behavioural options of the former. Three strategic paths are available to the agent to weaken its principals’ control incentives: (a) calibrating the member states’ involvement in the international negotiations, (b) being the first mover in determining its own instructions, and (c) exploiting the inconclusiveness among the member states.

Journal

Journal of European IntegrationTaylor & Francis

Published: Jul 1, 2010

Keywords: European Commission; international environmental negotiations; international trade negotiations; presidency; principal–agent

There are no references for this article.