Taking the lead: informal division of labour in the EU’s external environmental policy-making

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Series Details Vol.20, No.1, January 2013, p113-131
Publication Date January 2013
ISSN 1350-1763
Content Type

The article examines the informal division of labour in the European Union's (EU's) external environmental policy-making. It focuses on informal arrangements in the EU co-ordination and representation processes with regard to the United Nations Commission on Sustainable Development (CSD) and international climate negotiations.

Whereas the rotating Presidency is formally in charge of leading the internal EU co-ordination and representing the EU externally, we see that in practice an informal system is used, in which member states and Commission officials informally ‘take the lead’. Based upon new-institutionalist insights, this article argues that four functional reasons explain the informality in the EU's external environmental policy-making: burden sharing; expertise pooling; involving member states; and guaranteeing continuity. Moreover, once the informal arrangement is in place, actors in the EU keep using it because they act path-dependently and because it is considered the most appropriate way to act in many international environmental negotiations.

Source Link http://www.tandf.co.uk/journals/
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