Concluding inter-regional agreements: looking at EU’s trade partners
The seminar presents the main content of the first two chapters of the doctoral thesis provisionally titled ‘Concluding inter-regional agreements: looking at EU’s trade partners’. Whether as an alternative or a complement to multilateralism, inter-regional trade negotiations have become an important pillar of the EU trade policy in recent years. These types of agreements constitute a very challenging endeavor. They include a wide range of non-tariff trade issues and are negotiated with regional groupings formed by heterogeneous countries. However, some of them have concluded and are already in force as it is the case of the EU-CARIFORUM or the EU-Central America agreements. The purpose of the thesis is to identify the factors that help explain the conclusion of such inter-regional agreements. So far, literature has studied EU trade agreements primarily from the viewpoint of the EU. This research looks at the other side of the coin: on how the chances of agreement may depend on the attributes of the EU regional partner and its relations with the EU. The paper purposes three variables in the regional partners as necessary conditions to agreement: the incentives originated by EU’s presence that modifies the partner’s behavior, the level of cohesiveness of the region and the norm proximity between regional blocs. This paper discusses whether these variables are supported by International Relations theory and the literature on international negotiations.
Jordi Mas Elias is FPI-MINECO predoctoral researcher at IBEI. He holds a MSc in Political Economy of Europe (LSE) and a MSc in International Relations, Security and Development at the Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona (UAB). Previously, he studied the undergraduates of Journalism (UAB) and Political Science and Public Management (UAB). His research interests include political economy, trade politics, the European Union and International Relations.