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EU Performance in the UN Climate Change Negotiations

Lisanne Groen

In this paper the degree of effectiveness (measured as goal achievement) of the European Union (EU) as a negotiator in the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) over time is measured and explained. Such an assessment and explanation of EU effectiveness in international biodiversity negotiations over time, from the early 1990s until recently, fills a gap in the literature on EU external action. Three cases from different time periods are studied, namely: (1) the negotiations on the coming into being of the CBD (1990-1992); (2) the negotiations on the Cartagena Protocol on biosafety (1995-2000); and (3) the negotiations on the Nagoya Protocol on access to and benefit-sharing of genetic resources (2004-2010). First, the degree of EU goal achievement is measured by comparing the EU’s objectives for the international negotiations with the outcome of these negotiations. Second, the degree of EU goal achievement is explained by means of three variables, namely: (1) the EU’s issue specific bargaining power (in comparison with the other negotiating parties); (2) thenature of the EU’s objectives and their position in the international constellation of interests;Íž and (3) the EU’s activities during the negotiations and their fit with the international context of power and interests. The results of the three cases seem to indicate that the EU’s position in the international constellation of power and interests sets the stage for the type and extent of EU activity that is required. This EU activity, consequently, seems to influence the degree of EU goal achievement.

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