Volume 48 (2014) / Issue 5
In recent years, scholars have called into question the often-heard policy statements that link a stronger single voice of the European Union (EU) to more European influence in international negotiations. This article examines this challenge in an area where the EU has a particularly long tradition of establishing common policies: agriculture. By comparing in particular the international agricultural negotiations that have taken place in the framework of the Uruguay and the Doha Development Rounds (up until Cancún), it argues that internal coherence is actually not a sufficient condition for EU influence in these negotiations. On the contrary, by building on different strands of literature - International Relations, EU studies and trade policy - it shows that the EU's ability to influence outcomes has been increasingly affected by external developments. More specifically, the article draws on three crucial external processes in this regard: First, emerging powers have gained substantial commercial weight. Second, key countries, especially Brazil, have played an increasingly active role in the negotiations. Third, these countries have strengthened their positions through successful coalition-building. Consequently, if European policy-makers want to increase the EU's influence in agricultural trade negotiations, they have to more consciously adapt its negotiation approaches to the changing external negotiation environment.
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