The European Union’s Foreign Policy in Comparative Perspective. Beyond the “Actorness and Power” Debate pages:61-79
Unlike many other areas of foreign policy, chemical regulation is a field in which the European Union (EU) and its Member States have demonstrated greater capacity and actorness than most other nation states and international organizations. The EU is a major driving force behind chemical regulation and has made a significant contribution to the construction of global chemical governance. However, the EU could not sway international developments single-handedly. Historically, progress has been possible only when the US also actively participated in the process. International chemical negotiation results have been situated generally somewhere between the more progressive European and the more prudent US position. Nonetheless, in recent years emerging economies, particularly China and India, have become increasingly significant actors in this field. The effectiveness of the EU’s role in global chemical governance is determined not only by internal capacity but also by the international context within which it pursues its positions. This is, in part, a result of the decline of the EU’s (still very significant) share in the global chemicals market.