My research on the EU and international regulatory cooperation and conflict had its origins in a European Commission-funded project on the external impact of the single market directed by Christopher Stevens (then of the University of Sussex). Those findings were published by the Commission as External Access to European Markets as part of its The Single Market Review (Kogan Page Earthscan 1997). Since then my research on the external impact of EU regulations has fallen into two main strands: transatlantic regulatory cooperation and conflict and the EU’s role in global technology governance.
Transatlantic regulatory cooperation and conflict
During my post-doc at the European University Institute, I began to conduct research on the regulatory clash between the EU and the U.S. over the regulation of agricultural biotechnology. This work has been published in World Politics (2003) and the Review of International Political Economy (2011). In formed by that research and in the light of my work on the external impact of the single market, I contributed to two funded studies on transatlantic regulatory cooperation in the 2000s: “The Political Economy of the Transatlantic Partnership,” which was directed by Mark Pollack (then of the European University Institute) and funded by Her Majesty’s Treasury (UK) and the Ministry of Finance (Netherlands) in 2002; and “Study on the Framework for Relations between the European Union and the United States,” directed by John Peterson (University of Edinburgh) and funded by the European Commission’s Directorate General for External Relations in 2005. This research has provided an invaluable foundation for my current work on the politics of the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) negotiations.
The European Union in Global Technology Governance
Funded by the European Commission. Jean Monnet Chair (2012-3121)
In response to the proliferation of regulations by a growing number of states, the European Commission has prioritized addressing regulatory barriers in bilateral trade negotiations and advocated regulatory convergence at the multilateral level. This project critically interrogates the EU’s ability to influence regulations beyond its borders. Considering both the EU’s influence in the Codex Alimentarius Commission, which sets international food safety standards (Journal of European Public Policy, 21:6, 2014: 904-22. Author e-print), and the extent of regulatory cooperation in its “new generation” trade agreements with Canada, Central America, Singapore, South Korea and the Commission’s opening negotiating position in the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership negotiations with the United States (Journal of European Public Policy, 22/9, 2015. Author e-print) I find that the EU exercises less influence than many assume. In fact, it does not necessarily even try to export its rules. Drawing on this research, an extensive review of the literature and the contributions to a workshop held at Georgia Tech in April 2014, I argue that the EU’s influence in international regulation varies systematically across different forms of regulatory co-operation (Journal of European Public Policy, 22/9, 2015. Author e-print). Within the different forms of regulatory co-operation the EU’s influence varies in line with expectations derived from the literature. The magnitude of the EU’s influence, however, seems to be considerably less in regulatory co-operation than is suggested by the existing literature on regulatory competition