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Issue 2, 2008 Expand all abstracts

Europa en de wereld: de eeuwige machtsvraag

Keywords European Union, EU External Policies, Common Foreign and Security Policy (CFSP), Principal-Agent, Normative Power Europe
Authors Jan Orbie and Sophie Vanhoonacker
AbstractAuthor's information

    This introductory article situates the three contributions to this special issue on ‘Europe and the world’ within the broader academic discussion on the European Union’s (EU) international role. It expands on the two central questions that run as a red line through this issue: what is the role and power of EU level players in the external policymaking process; what kind of power is Europe in the world? The fi rst part focuses on the explanatory power of rational choice theories and more particularly the principal-agent model when trying to understand the power struggle between the European and national level. The second part addresses the question whether the EU constitutes a sui generis type of international actor, as suggested by the Normative Power Europe hypothesis. With the articles in this special issue as a starting point, it points to the promises and pitfalls of the particular approaches for researching Europe’s international role and makes suggestions for future research.

Jan Orbie
Jan Orbie is docent aan het Centrum voor EU-Studies van de Universiteit Gent.

Sophie Vanhoonacker
Sophie Vanhoonacker is bijzonder hoogleraar ‘Administrative Governance’ aan de Universiteit Maastricht.

De Europese Unie in internationale milieuonderhandelingen

Wat verklaart de onderhandelingsautonomie van de EU-onderhandelaar?

Keywords European Union, Multilateral Environmental Agreements, Negotiation Autonomy, Principal-Agent, Qualitative Comparative Analysis
Authors Tom Delreux
AbstractAuthor's information

    Starting from principal-agent theory, this article analyses the conditions under which an EU negotiator enjoys a particular degree of negotiation autonomy vis-à-vis the member states he represents during multilateral environmental negotiations. A Qualitative Comparative Analysis of eight EU decision-making processes with regard to international negotiations leading to a multilateral environmental agreement indicates that the compellingness of the international negotiations explains the occurrence of negotiation autonomy. However, the international compellingness does not provide explanatory power to understand the particular degree of negotiation autonomy. To understand when an EU negotiator enjoys a high degree of negotiation autonomy, variables such as preference distances, information asymmetries and institutional density need to be taken into account.

Tom Delreux
De auteur is aspirant van het FWO-Vlaanderen, Instituut voor Internationaal en Europees Beleid, K.U.Leuven.

De Europese Commissie en het EU-Raadssecretariaat in het GBVB

Keywords European Commission, Council Secretariat, Common Foreign and Security Policy, Actorness, Treaty of Lisbon
Authors Hylke Dijkstra
AbstractAuthor's information

    For the European Union to exhibit some ‘actorness’ in the world of international relations requires it to have a certain amount of autonomy from its constituent members. This article analyses, in this respect, the degrees of freedom the Council Secretariat and the European Commission enjoy in the context of the CFSP. While this EU policy is generally known to be intergovernmental, both institutions arguably do have some political influence over the substantive outcomes. This is not the result of formal competencies institutionalized in the Treaties, but rather of an accumulated process and content expertise in these institutions, which can be transformed into political influence via informal means.

Hylke Dijkstra
Hylke Dijkstra is promovendus aan de Faculteit der Cultuur- en Maatschappijwetenschappen van de Universiteit Maastricht.

De Europese Unie: een strategische militaire actor?

Tsjaad als testcase

Keywords EU, ESDP, Strategic Culture, Military Strategy, EUFOR Tchad/RCA
Authors Sven Biscop and Alexander Mattelaer
AbstractAuthor's information

    The EU is increasingly developing a grand strategy for framing its external policies in a coherent way. The European Security and Defence Policy offers the EU access to military instruments, enabling it to conduct civilian and military operations. This article investigates to what extent the EU can be qualified as a strategic actor, i.e. having a clear vision of how to act in the security domain and the will to do so. Furthermore, we evaluate whether past practices are leading to the framing of a EU strategic culture. As a test case we offer an in-depth analysis of the planning of EUFOR Tchad/RCA – the most recent and largest autonomous military operation the EU has conducted so far. This shows the progress the EU has made in developing its external posture, but also makes clear there exists a conceptual gap in terms of military strategy, where operational planning remains plagued by ad-hoccery.

Sven Biscop
Dr. Sven Biscop is senior research fellow in Egmont – Koninklijk Instituut voor Internationale Betrekkingen in Brussel en gastprofessor voor Europese veiligheid aan het Europacollege in Brugge.

Alexander Mattelaer
Alexander Mattelaer is als onderzoeker verbonden aan het Institute for European Studies van de Vrije Universiteit Brussel.

Het is stil waar het nooit waait

Online politieke fora als bakermat van publieke opinie

Authors Peter Thijssen
Author's information

Peter Thijssen
Docent van de Universiteit Antwerpen, Departement Politieke Wetenschappen.

Schrijven is blijven of toch maar publish or perish?

Wetenschappelijk publiceren in het Nederlands

Authors Stefaan Walgrave, Hans Oversloot and Patrick Stouthuysen

Stefaan Walgrave

Hans Oversloot

Patrick Stouthuysen
Book Review

Waarom delen met zo velen?

De spanning tussen de uitbreiding en de verdieping van de Europese Unie

Authors Jan Beyers
Author's information

Jan Beyers
Universiteit Antwerpen.