Marja-Liisa Öberg

År: 2017 // Anslagsförvaltare: Örebro universitet //

Område: Rättsvetenskap post doc // Belopp: 1 952 344 kr

Min forskning

Tredje länders inflytande på Europeiska unionens lagstiftningsprocess: aktörer, modaliteter, syften och effekter på autonomin av unionens rättsordning

Normexport är ett verktyg som används regelbundet av unionen i dess relationer med tredje länder. Europeiska unionens normativa makt har återigen inträtt i rampljuset mot bakgrund av Brexit samt de pågående förhandlingarna av det Transatlantiska partnerskapet för handel och investeringar (TTIP) mellan unionen och USA. Unionens växande normativa inflytande medför samtidigt tredje länders ökade påverkan på unionens beslutsprocesser. Den praktiska erfarenheten från normexport inom EES, den bilaterala relationen mellan unionen och Schweiz, anslutningsprocessen och bilaterala frihandelsavtal som TTIP visar ett betydande informellt inflytande för tredje länder på unionens lagstiftningsprocess. Samtidigt har skyddet för unionens autonomi ifråga om beslutsfattande inneburit att normexporten formellt betraktats som en linjär process från unionen till tredje länder som en mottagare av EU:s regelverk, acquis. Detta projekt syftar till att utforska tredje länders faktiska inflytande på unionens beslutsprocess genom att identifiera och kategorisera det samt att undersöka friktionen mellan ett sådant inflytande och unionens beslutsautonomi. Projektet förväntas ge betydande teoretiska och praktiska insikter i det normativa samspelet mellan tredje länder och unionen samt ett innovativt bidrag till debatten om unionens demokratiska legitimitet.

Mer om forskningsprojektet

The competitive position of the European Union (EU) in the world depends not only on pure economic (trade) power but also on the Union’s ever-increasing regulatory impact. In particular, the EU frequently uses norms export as a tool in its relations with the countries in its closer neighbourhood and beyond. On the one hand, the EU participates in multilateral bodies that create global rules, standards and practices; on the other, it spreads its own norms and values in exchange for access to the internal market (M Cremona, 'The Union as a global actor: Roles, models and identity' (2004) 41 CMLR 553). 

The EU's practice of integrating the neighbourhood countries into the internal market by exporting the relevant acquis – the accumulated body of EU law – is a prominent example of this norms export. It is exemplified by an array of regulatory tools varying in form and intensity. A large part of the norms export takes place through the accession process but also via the conclusion of international agreements between the Union and third countries. Examples of the latter include agreements concluded in the framework of multilateral policy frameworks such as the Stabilisation and Association Agreements between the EU and Southern and Eastern European countries that are likely to accede to the EU in the future; Partnership and Cooperation Agreements with Eastern European countries that are not likely to become members of the EU; but also deep normative integration agreements such as the one establishing the European Economic Area (EEA) and the bilateral agreements concluded between the EU and Switzerland. 

For the non-EU members of the EEA (‘the EEA EFTA States’), Switzerland or even the United Kingdom that is about to leave the EU while wishing to maintain a stake in the internal market, deep normative cooperation on a bilateral or multilateral basis is the preferred option for gaining the economic benefits of participating in the internal market or chosen sectors thereof without membership in the Union. In addition, the EU’s normative power assumes great relevance in the context of the ongoing negotiations between the EU and the USA on the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) – a free trade agreement which, among others, provides for a significant degree of regulatory cooperation between the two major global trade powers. 

The EU’s norms export is usually perceived as a linear process – from the EU as the origin of the common norms to the third countries at the receiving end of the regulatory pipeline. However, against the backdrop of the ever-growing normative impact of the EU in the world one should not overlook the equally increasing influence of third countries on the EU’s policy and law making. The practical experiences of the EEA, the EU-Switzerland bilateral relationship, the accession process and free trade agreements such as the envisaged TTIP have demonstrated the significance of third country impact. The proposed project sets out to explore the central aspects of the, indeed, circular effect of the EU’s activities in exporting the acquis in order to provide a significant contribution to the current debates and to close an obvious gap in existing literature. 

The broad aim of the project is to provide comprehensive understanding of the role of the EU in the world as a norms exporter and the impact of this role on the Union’s own functioning. The specific objectives and corresponding research questions of the project are threefold. Firstly, the research aims to map out the means of third country participation in the EU’s decision-making process in terms of (1) actors (countries or country groups) involved, (2) modes of participation (institutions, participation rights, etc.), and (3) rationales for participation on the side of both the EU and the relevant third countries. Secondly, the project endeavours to define the presently indeterminate concept of ‘decision-making autonomy’ of the EU. Thirdly, it sets out to identify and highlight the inevitable tensions between third-country participation in the EU’s law making procedures and the concept of the autonomy of the EU legal order.