Nordic Committee for the Study of International Politics
Cooperation and Conflict vol:44 issue:2 pages:189-208
This article examines the internal decision-making process in the European Union when the EU participates in international environmental negotiations. More particularly, the practical functioning of the relation between the member states and the EU negotiator (i.e. the Commission, the Presidency or a lead country), representing the member states externally, is examined. Starting from principal–agent theory and based on empirical research on eight EU decision-making processes with regard to international environmental negotiations, the article argues, first, that control by the member states on the EU negotiator takes place most manifestly during the course of the inter national negotiations, and, second, that these ad locum control mechanisms perform not only a control function, but also a cooperation function.