Who is in control? The shifting balance of power between the Commission and the Council in EU bilateral trade negotiations

Markus Gastinger (Dresden University of Technology)
Markus Gastinger (Dresden University of Technology)

While the European Commission conducts the EU’s bilateral trade negotiations, its room for manoeuvre is circumscribed by the Council. Analysing a series of EU-India trade agreements, Markus Gastinger argues that until the early 1990s the Commission had been able to acquire an information advantage vis-à-vis the Council during informal pre-negotiation phases, which enabled the Commission to move the substance of the ensuing official negotiations closer to its own preferences. Read his article “The tables have turned on the European Commission: the changing nature of the pre-negotiation phase in EU bilateral trade agreements” published in the Journal of European Public Policy to learn how EU member states have subsequently dried up the Commission’s access to exclusive information by shifting the institutional arenas for pre-negotiations. Have a look at Markus’s homepage and see what else his research has in store here.