EU as Principal-orchestrator: Horizontal Policy Externalisation Through Intermediaries

Antonio Salvador Alcazar III

Global Politics Review
Vol. 5, no. 1-2 (2019): 67-91.
DOI: 10.5281/zenodo.3243992
GPR ID: 2464-9929_v05_i1-2_p067
Received: February 2, 2019. Accepted: April 20, 2019. Published: May 19, 2019.

ABSTRACT:  Bilateral free trade agreements and nonreciprocal preferential schemes constitute the most direct market-based instruments at the European Union’s disposal to lever concessions from exterior actors. Existing research on the EU as a global trade power, however, virtually ignores how EU institutions engage proxies to peddle policy prescriptions in third markets through the decentralised mechanisms of delegation and orchestration. As intermediaries possess built-in governance capabilities on the ground, the EU manages to indirectly nudge non-EU targets to accommodate its policy preferences where the “fungibility” of EU political clout may be untenable. Nested within the “market power Europe” thesis, this paper analyses how EU intermediaries frame policy issues and elevate policy recommendations at the political and regulatory levels in foreign markets deemed economically significant for EU enterprises. In the context of the European Commission’s Support to European Business in Southeast Asian Markets (SEBSEAM) framework, a number of implemented or proposed reforms in foreign investor protection, fair competition, food standards, and pharmaceutical ethics could be traced back to the advocacy actions of EU intermediaries in the Philippines. These preliminary findings shine a light on the EU’s mediated power to promote its commercial policy preferences in distant markets as well as the role of non-state actors in an increasingly complex and diffuse exercise of EU external economic diplomacy.

Keywords: European Union, Philippines, SME internationalisation, policy intermediaries, delegation, orchestration.

Copyright by the Author. This is an Open Access article licensed by Global Politics Review under the terms and conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 License Creative Commons License.

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