The EU in the G8 System: Assessing EU Member States’ Involvement
Title: The EU in the G8 System: Assessing EU Member States’ Involvement
Series/Number: EUI RSCAS; 2009/45
Even though the role of the European Union (EU) in international organizations has generated increasing academic and political interest, scant attention has been devoted to the EU’s participation in the Group of Eight (G8). The launch of the renewed Group of Twenty (G20), however, has sparked intense debate among member states about the way in which the EU is represented in the G8 system. The central issue covered in this paper is the participation of the EU in the G8 system. In particular, we focus on the involvement of the 23 non-G8 EU members (EU23) and the role of the European Commission and the Council Presidency. The focus lies on the internal EU level, rather than on the question of the EU’s bargaining power at the international level. The paper draws on insights of Moravcsik’s liberal intergovernmentalism to explain the variation of the EU23’s involvement in the following policy domains: development aid, energy, finance and monetary affairs and trade. The paper finds a pattern of differing involvement that varies along the lines of the three forums within the G8 system: low involvement in the G8, medium involvement in the G20 and high involvement in the Group of Seven (G7). Four factors are suggested that explain the involvement of the EU23 in the internal EU coordination process: internal competences, intra-EU consensus, policy implications and the role of EU actors.
Subject: European Union; EU member states; G7; G8; G20; internal coordination; liberal intergovernmentalism
Type of Access: openAccess