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Working Paper 57

The Effect of Trade Agendas on Regulatory Governance - When the EU Meets the Global South

Andrea C. Bianculli - November 2013 Download


This paper focuses on the significance of regulatory governance at the regional level. In doing so, it analyzes to what extent and how North-South negotiations give rise to particular forms of regulatory governance in the developing world. To what extent do these forms vary across policy areas? Which elements account for the observed differences and similarities? Empirically, the paper explores the negotiation process between the European Union (EU) and the Southern Common Market (Mercosur), which aims to promote trade liberalization on the one hand, and the harmonization of regulatory frameworks on the other. The focus is on the trade and cooperative agendas involved in trade facilitation and education. Findings suggest that the negotiation of North-South agreements impacts on the ways in which different forms of regulatory governance are expressed, but this varies among particular policy issues. Both the type of norm promoted and the capacity building mechanisms envisaged create a particular ideational and material context, all of which in turn affects the actor constellation – type of actor, specific role and network configuration – hence leading to different regulatory governance regimes among policy areas, yet within the same trade negotiation.