«EUI Working Papers RSCAS 2012/23 ROBERT SCHUMAN CENTRE FOR ADVANCED STUDIES Global Governance Programme-18 MULTILEVEL GOVERNANCE OF INTERDEPENDENT ...»
Apart from these widely-recognised shortfalls between ambitions and reality, however, the question emerges (and was widely discussed during the conference in Florence in February 2011 on which this book is based) of the extent to which the EU, its integration process and its multilevel governance system can serve as an example or learning area for the development of a new global governance system. Many argue that the EU is an example of a successful form of governance beyond the nation state and suggest that the European model can – to some extent – be transferred to the global level. Such an assessment has regularly been put forward by the Director of the World Trade Organisation (WTO), Pascal Lamy, who has argued on several occasions that the EU model can be used on a global scale (see also his contribution in this book). When looking for the necessary elements of effective global governance, he argues that “there is one place, however, where the rubicon of supra-nationality has been crossed and where new forms of governance have been tested: in Europe” (2012). The lessons that the European experience teaches are that supra-national governance can work, that “shared values, a common objective and institutional machinery” are needed, and that greater attention should be paid to regional integration processes.
Let me add to these observations. A main challenge for global governance and interdependent public goods is one that is well known to the European integration process: hurdles in the cooperation The EU and the European Parliament in International Trade and Climate Change Negotiations between sovereign states on shared challenges. Many elements of the integration process have provided general examples of how to manage international public goods. The EU and its integration process can teach much about collective action problems and the problems and incoherence of coordinating national interests in a rule-based multilateral setting. Throughout the decades of the integration process, European policy-making has been faced with the challenge of incentives for collective action and of getting national sovereign states to cooperate.
The EU and the EP in International Trade Negotiations However, although the EU wants to be a strong global player shaping the emerging global order, there are a few crucial preconditions: the ability of European governments to coordinate their positions, the coherence of European policies and institutions and the strengthening of the EU's representation in international institutions and negotiations. Overall, the EU institutions play diverging roles in the provision of different global public goods, which often implies the usual weakness of lacking coherence, or ‘turf-battles’ between the institutions. To shed some empirical light – linked to my personal practical experiences – on these challenges and on the earlier reflections, I want to turn to two policy fields which cover the provision of two significantly important global public goods and in which the EU has been very active in recent years: international trade and climate change policies and negotiations.
Beginning with the first policy area, one can say that possibly the most positive example of a powerful and effectively multilateral EU providing global public goods is its involvement in the establishment of a stable global trade system. The common commercial policy (CCP) is based on strong community powers and the Union acts in this policy field quite coherently. The gap between rhetoric and action is small and in most cases the Union manages to speak with one voice. In recent years, the European Union has positioned itself as a key player in the multilateral trade system and its reform, and has managed to overcome many of the structural shortcomings which frequently hinder the EU from being a strong global actor.
With the entry into force of the Lisbon Treaty, this role should become even stronger and the policy field offers the perfect testing ground for analysing how the complex multi-level policy-making system between the EP, the European Commission and the Council of Ministers can function with regard to the EU’s involvement in providing global public goods. Amongst other things, the Lisbon Treaty provides for the Common Commercial Policy (CCP) to be linked in a stronger way to the broader external action of the Union and it significantly enhances the EP’s role in the institutional balance of trade-related policy-making. Overall, the Treaty gives ‘the European Parliament final and credible authority to approve or reject all trade and investment agreements and co-decision power in adopting framework legislation’(Kleimann, 2011, p.1).
Before the Lisbon Treaty came into force, the European Parliament only had a very limited role in the successful policy field of international trade. I vividly remember that we as the Parliament were often frustrated by being side-lined by the Council and Commission in such a successful policy field, which is so important for the provision of global goods to the global and European society. While the policy was very effective, democratic oversight by the Parliament was lacking. Indeed, the decisionand policy-making in Europe’s international trade policy and the conduct of trade negotiations ‘was arguably characterized by a lack of democratic legitimacy, scrutiny and transparency, but at the same time benefitted from technocratic efficiency’(Kleimann, 2011, p.3).
The Lisbon Treaty changed this status and gave the EP both co-decision-making powers regarding domestic framework legislation and the right to reject trade agreements that the Commission has negotiated with third countries (see for more details Kleimann, 2011) Overall, legislation in the EU’s CCP will now be conducted under the ordinary legislative procedure and the EP is now a powerful and
credible institutional competitor, whose views have to be taken into account by the Commission and the Council in trade legislation and negotiations. One of the most interesting results of these changes in institutional powers and balances is the increasing politicisation which results from the European Parliament’s involvement in the decision-making process. Furthermore, Kleimann rightly argues that the EP’s increased powers in the EU’s common commercial policy give it the potential to narrow the gap between European political preferences and perceptions and actual EU trade policies, and that this requires adequate knowledge and policy-making from members of the European Parliament (MEPs).
The Parliament has to prove that its empowerment and enhanced democratic legitimacy do not lead to a deterioration in policy outcomes in the CCP, which so far has been so successful because of its continuity and predictability.
The EU and the EP in International Climate Change Negotiations The other policy area that I will deal with in some more detail is that of international climate change politics. In general terms, the issue of global environmental governance has become ever more significant and the number of environmental conventions and negotiations has multiplied over the last decade (Saunier and Meganck, 2009). This area is another key example of the provision of global public goods, and one specific and crucial global public good has in recent years made it to the top of the agenda for politicians, media and society: international regulation and negotiations to fight climate change. Without doubt, the attempt to build a solid climate change regime is one of the most important and complex global public goods, involving elementary economic interests and immense distributional consequences, and is surely a crucial litmus test of the ability to provide effective global governance.
Since 1995, global summits have been held in the context of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) in a bid to create collective agreements to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and to mitigate the effects of climate change. Since the very beginning of these negotiations, the EU and many of its member states, who are responsible for ca. 14% of the global emissions of climate change inducing greenhouse gases (GHG), have been ‘in the vanguard on action to tackle climate change’ (Stern, 2009, p.188); the ‘EU has established itself as the most prominent leader in international climate policy by pushing for stringent international commitments’ (Kelly et al., 2010, p.13).
In adopting the decisive Kyoto Protocol at the end of 1997, the EU played a key role in the negotiations and pressured other industrialised countries to get on board. Finally, 37 industrialised countries agreed on an average GHG reduction of 5.2% for the period 2008-2012; the EU set the most ambitious target of 8%. Moreover, after the US announced its decision not to ratify the Kyoto Protocol, the EU took the diplomatic lead to save the Protocol and succeeded in convincing Russia to ratify it, so that it came into force in 2005. Further important negotiation rounds were launched in Bali in 2007 (the so-called Bali Roadmap), with the core aim of establish a global deal following the Kyoto protocol after its end in 2012. In working towards this aim, the EU always presented itself as a leader (for an overview of the various international negotiations and the EU’s role, see Oberthür and Pallemaerts, 2010; Wurzel and Connelly, 2010).
The whole development of the negotiations seemed to culminate in the Copenhagen climate change negotiations (COP 15) in December 2009, which attracted huge public attention with the attendance of numerous head of states. In his speech taking office in November 2009, the President of the European Council Herman Van Rompuy underlined that “[the] climate conference in Copenhagen is another step towards the global management of our planet” (‘van Rompuy speech’, 2009). However, this step delivered rather disappointing results: neither the outcome nor the process met the high expectations of the European Union. Overall, it turned out that the attempted EU leadership position was inefficient during the summit; the Union had much less influence than in previous conferences. The final accord was drafted by the US, China, India, Brazil and South Africa, with Europe being left out and only able The EU and the European Parliament in International Trade and Climate Change Negotiations to rubber-stamp the agreement. In sum, the EU showed a low and diffuse profile during the negotiations; its possibility of being considered a leader in global governance fora was put in doubt.
The question is clearly raised of whether this incident was just one-off or whether it was a sign of a new geopolitical reality.
Apart from its involvement in international negotiations, however, the EU led by example in developing strong internal policies to push for the provision of the global public good of climate change protection (for an overview of the evolution of EU climate change activities and policies, see Oberthür and Pallemaerts, 2010; Jordan and Rayner, 2010; Wurzel and Connelly, 2010). At the beginning of the 1990s, there was insufficient progress EU-wide in emissions reduction; a credibility gap emerged because of the growing divergence between international leadership demands and the paucity of domestic action (Oberthür and Pallemaerts, 2010; Jordan and Rayner, 2010). Following Kyoto, however, the EU accelerated its action to reduce emissions and various policies and directives from 2000 onwards brought it closer to its target.
Milestone decisions in this regard were the 2005 introduction of a successful European Carbon Market, the European Trading Scheme (ETS). This scheme certainly serves as a global model and constitutes a basis for a much needed global carbon market (for more information on the functioning and the relevance of the ETS, which certainly has the character of a role model and which has the potential to be a basis on which to develop global regulation mechanisms, see Asselt, 2010; Svensson, 2008, p.59 ff.; Skjærstedt and Wettestad, 2010). Furthermore, in 2007 the European Council decided to reduce EU emissions by 20% by 2020 (relative to 1990) and to aim for a 30% reduction in the case that other countries also increased their efforts in the form of a global deal (because it was furthermore agreed to reduce energy use by 20%, the decision has subsequently been referred to as the “20-20-20 package”). Following up on this “groundbreaking” (Svensson, 2008, p.22) climate strategy, a detailed climate and energy regulation package was agreed on in 2008, which entailed the review of the 2003 directive on the ETS, a new Renewable Energy Directive, and a Directive on Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS). This was a very comprehensive package and a major revamp of EU policies (for more on the internal EU policies, decisions, and discussions, see Giddens, 2009, p.192 ff.; Oberthür and Pallemaerts, 2010; Jordan and Rayner, 2010).
As in the internal dimension, the European Parliament was always strongly involved in this external dimension – with varying success and power. Already in 1986, the European Parliament recognised the need for Europe to become active in the field of climate change and it was the first EU institution to show interest in the topic. Overall, the EP has co-decision power regarding EU climate
legislation, but it only has an advisory role on the EU’s positions in international negotiations:
‘Members of the European Parliament attend the international climate conferences, but they are [not] allowed to attend the meetings where Member States and the Commission decide upon the EU position’ (Van Schaik, 2010, p.261). 1 But even though an intergovernmental model in the EU’s representation in international negotiations clearly prevails, with the Commission mainly being responsible for the new formulation of climate legislation within the EU and the Council adopting the EU positions (Van Schaik, 2010, p.261), the Parliament at least plays the role of a ‘cognitive leader’; it has consistently urged the Commission and the Council to take a leadership role on the international stage (Burns and Carter, 2010; The EP labelled itself as ‘voice of ambition’ and states that ‘[O]ver the years Parliament has become a voice of ambition, calling for EU leadership in the fight against climate change’, ‘EP delegation to Copenhagen’, 2008). A concrete example where the Parliament used its influence very well was in shaping details and the ambition of the EU’s climate change policy and in working out the ETS.