Chapter

The EU’s Foreign Economic Policies:Limits to Delegation

Andreas Dür

in Constructing a Policy-Making State?

Published in print September 2012 | ISBN: 9780199604104
Published online January 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780191741531 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199604104.003.0012
The EU’s Foreign Economic Policies:Limits to Delegation

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The last two decades have seen a major expansion in the scope of the European Union’s foreign economic policies. Repeatedly, EU member states both formally and informally have delegated significant powers to carry out these policies to the European Commission and other agents at the European level. What consequences does this delegation of competencies to European institutions have for the control that member states can exert over EU foreign economic policies? A sizeable literature suggests that delegation has led to a loss of control by member states. This chapter, however, argues that member states have maintained control over EU foreign economic policies even in the presence of far-reaching delegation. This is so because delegation has been accompanied by control mechanisms that make sure that the agents’ scope for autonomous action is tightly circumscribed. The chapter illustrates the plausibility of this argument in an analysis of the main changes in the EU’s institutional set-up for foreign economic policy-making from the Treaties of Rome to the Treaty of Lisbon.

Keywords: development policy; European Commission; European Union; monetary policy; principal agent approach; trade policy

Chapter.  8312 words. 

Subjects: European Union

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