Bureaucratic Power Europe? the Role of Joint Bodies in EU External Relations

Friday, July 14, 2017
JWS - Stevenson Lecture Theatre (University of Glasgow)
Markus Gastinger , TU Dresden
In today’s increasingly globalized and interdependent world understanding if and how the European Union (EU) acts externally may be among the most important research agendas of our time. This research project is inspired by the conviction that in order to understand EU external relations we have to broaden our focus beyond how international agreements are negotiated to how they are actually implemented. Bureaucratic Power Europe (BPE) will investigate the implementation of EU bilateral agreements (BAs) by putting into the spotlight – for the first time – the joint bodies (JBs) set up by BAs. These JBs bring together representatives from the EU (Commission and Council) and the third country to oversee their implementation. The aim of BPE is not simply to add another prefix to the Europe-as-a-power debate (including, amongst others, civilian power, trade power or market power) and to formulate a rival conceptualization that is in stark opposition to earlier approaches. Instead, it will deepen existing explanations by highlighting an, in all likelihood, essential mechanism through which most forms of power can be projected. JBs have undergone a major wave of institutionalization in recent years. Taken together, these organizational structures may well prove systemically relevant and make the EU the world’s great bureaucratic power.