The Road to External Representation: the European Commission's Activism in International Air Transport
Journal of European Public Policy
GB : Routledge
52 - 69 p.
European Commission, European foreign policies, external negotiation mandate, international air transport, open aviation area, transatlantic relations
This article argues that the role the Commission plays in European foreign policies goes beyond the execution of the competences delegated by the member states. The Commission is not just the external negotiator of the EU, it can also use its powers as the guardian of the Treaties to expand its foreign policy competences. The case study of international air transport illustrates how the Commission was able to obtain an external negotiation mandate in June 2003 to which member states were originally opposed. The analysis draws particular attention to the Commission's reliance on the European Court of Justice and to a cognitive strategy centred on the United States. By means of these two tools, the Commission was able to affect the default condition of member state preferences and reorient the focal point of intergovernmental negotiations.