European Foreign Affairs Review

Volume 19 (2014)

Volume 19 (2014) / Issue 3

Diana Panke, 'Communicative Power Europe? How the EU Copes with Opposition in International Negotiations' (2014) 19 European Foreign Affairs Review, Issue 3, pp. 357–371


The European Union (EU) is becoming increasingly active in international negotiations, not the least because speaking with one voice is a chance for Member States to increase their leverage. Yet in the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA), the EU is a comparatively small group which often faces opposition from considerably larger groups, most notably the G77 and the Non-Aligned Movement. Since the EU is smaller in size than its counterparts, being influential on the basis of voting alone is unlikely to work well. Thus, this article inductively examines how the EU can be turned into an effective communicative power that manages to influence UNGA resolutions. Most importantly, bypassing a larger opposition requires bilateral lobbying, whilst facing the opposing group en bloc in multilateral negotiations should be avoided. On this basis, even smaller groups can become effective communicative powers by disseminating novel arguments or making normative appeals.

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ISSN: 1384-6299
ID: EERR2014029