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Explaining European Union effectiveness (goal achievement) in the Convention on Biological Diversity: the importance of diplomatic engagement

  • Lisanne GroenEmail author
Original Paper

Abstract

Recent scholarly work on the European Union (EU) in international environmental agreements has thus far lacked a focus on explaining variation in EU performance/effectiveness in different negotiation processes within one agreement, especially when it comes to less prominent issue areas such as biodiversity. To fill that gap, this article seeks to explain the EU’s effectiveness (goal achievement—GA) as a negotiator in the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) in three key negotiation processes: (1) the negotiations on the coming into being of the CBD (1990–1992); (2) the negotiations towards a Cartagena Protocol on biosafety (1995–2000); and (3) the negotiations towards a Nagoya Protocol on the access to and benefit-sharing of genetic resources (2004–2010). For each case, the article measures EU effectiveness/GA by comparing the EU’s objectives for the international negotiations at the early stages of the process with the outcome of these negotiations. It tries to explain the degree of EU GA by considering EU diplomatic engagement and the EU’s position in the constellation of all negotiating parties in terms of issue-specific bargaining power and interests. It highlights the EU’s successful performance as a mediator and bridge builder in the negotiations on the Cartagena and Nagoya Protocols. This diplomatic engagement resulted in a high degree of EU GA as it was well adapted to the EU’s position in the constellation of all negotiating parties in terms of bargaining power and interests. This article emphasises the need to adapt EU diplomatic engagement to this position to boost EU GA.

Keywords

European Union Convention on Biological Diversity Effectiveness Cartagena Protocol Nagoya Protocol Diplomatic engagement 

Notes

Acknowledgements

I would like to thank Sebastian Oberthür, Casey Stevens, Jamal Shahin, Tom Delreux and the journal’s anonymous reviewers for their helpful comments.

Funding

I gratefully acknowledge funding by the Fonds Wetenschappelijk Onderzoek (FWO) [Grant Number G.0A22.12N] for the research on which the article is based, as well as funding by the Japanese Society for the Promotion of Science (JSPS) as International Research Fellow (Postdoctoral Fellowships for Research in Japan [Standard]).

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The author declares that she has no conflict of interest.

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Copyright information

© Springer Nature B.V. 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Institute for European StudiesVrije Universiteit BrusselBrusselsBelgium

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