This article investigates the reasons why the EU tried to promote environmental norms in the Doha round. It argues that the EU's support of a ‘greener’ World Trade Organization stems from tensions between the rigidity of the domestic dynamics of positive integration in the EU and the increased bindingness of negative integration commitments undertaken under the WTO. Consensual decision-making procedures in the EU led societal groups to push for stringent food safety and environmental regulations in the EU, and made them very resistant to change. These dynamics of positive integration, however, produced rules that were inconsistent with negative integration commitments undertaken under the WTO, at a time when the creation of a quasi-judicial dispute settlement mechanism in the trade regime had greatly increased the bindingness of WTO rules. As a result of the twofold effect of domestic and international institutional constraints, EU decision-makers were subject to compelling incentives to try and strengthen legitimate exceptions from WTO rules and immunise European regulation against WTO legal challenges. Empirical evidence on how the EU shaped its trade-and-environment agenda in the run-up to the Doha Round in 2001, as well as how it negotiated in the subsequent period, lends support to the argument.

The EU as Promoter of Environmental Norms in the Doha Round / Poletti, Arlo; D., Sicurelli. - In: WEST EUROPEAN POLITICS. - ISSN 0140-2382. - 35:4(2012), pp. 911-932. [10.1080/01402382.2012.682351]

The EU as Promoter of Environmental Norms in the Doha Round

POLETTI, ARLO;
2012

Abstract

This article investigates the reasons why the EU tried to promote environmental norms in the Doha round. It argues that the EU's support of a ‘greener’ World Trade Organization stems from tensions between the rigidity of the domestic dynamics of positive integration in the EU and the increased bindingness of negative integration commitments undertaken under the WTO. Consensual decision-making procedures in the EU led societal groups to push for stringent food safety and environmental regulations in the EU, and made them very resistant to change. These dynamics of positive integration, however, produced rules that were inconsistent with negative integration commitments undertaken under the WTO, at a time when the creation of a quasi-judicial dispute settlement mechanism in the trade regime had greatly increased the bindingness of WTO rules. As a result of the twofold effect of domestic and international institutional constraints, EU decision-makers were subject to compelling incentives to try and strengthen legitimate exceptions from WTO rules and immunise European regulation against WTO legal challenges. Empirical evidence on how the EU shaped its trade-and-environment agenda in the run-up to the Doha Round in 2001, as well as how it negotiated in the subsequent period, lends support to the argument.
The EU as Promoter of Environmental Norms in the Doha Round / Poletti, Arlo; D., Sicurelli. - In: WEST EUROPEAN POLITICS. - ISSN 0140-2382. - 35:4(2012), pp. 911-932. [10.1080/01402382.2012.682351]
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/11385/66256
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