WTO judicial politics and EU trade policy : business associations as vessels of special interest?
Faculty of Social Sciences. Political Sciences
British journal of politics and international relations. - Oxford
, p. 196-215
University of Antwerp
This article focuses on the effects of the WTO's quasi-judicial system of dispute resolution on the politics of trade policy making in the European Union (EU). We argue that this institutional innovation had a systematic transformative effect on EU trade politics, creating pressures for institutional adaptation and changing the character of organized trade policy lobbying. On the one hand, the new environment of the WTO created pressures for the EU to implement significant institutional innovations to ease access for private parties and generate an influx of information to strengthen offensive market access actions. On the other hand, this reform directly affected firms' incentives to mobilize politically, creating incentives for specialized lobbying. The empirical analysis shows how these two processes ultimately led to a re-organization of trade policy lobbying in the EU and compelled European business associations to become increasingly receptive to the demands of special interests.