EU Performance in Multilateral Institutions:

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1

EU Performance in Multilateral Institutions:

From

Simple (1.0)


to

Sophisticated Effectiveness (2.0)


Authors:


Lisanne Groen [a]
,

Jamal Shahin [a,b]


[a] Institute for European Studies (IES), Vrije Universiteit Brussel (VUB),
Belgium

[b] European
Studies, University of Amsterdam (UvA), the Netherlands


Paper prepared for the
EU Studies Association (EU
SA) Annual Convention 2013,
May 2013
,
Baltimore
. Please do not cite or quote.


Abstract

In this paper, we argue for an upgraded definition and operati
onalisation of the
concept of European Union (EU)

effectiveness


as a core element of EU

performance


in multilateral institutions. Since the EU’s self
-
declared ambition to
support

effective multilateralism

, various scholars have assessed the EU’s
achi
evements. In the European foreign policy literature, systematic
conceptualisations of performance are still scarce, though. The existing attempts
(e.g. J
ø
rgensen et al. 2011) have made use of a simple measure of EU
effectiveness (

effectiveness 1.0

) that
focuses on goal achievement. Accordingly,
EU effectiveness varies with the degree to which the EU has achieved its declared
policy objectives. We argue that this

simple

measure has important shortcomings
since it takes the EU’s policy objectives as a giv
en rather than as an element of
EU performance and effectiveness itself.

Therefore, we suggest that the characteristics of the EU’s policy objectives should
be part of the assessment of the EU’s effectiveness. For example, those interested
in knowing whether the EU performed more or less well in a multilateral
institution will
want to know the extent to which the policy objectives established
by the EU were easy or ambitious in view of the international constellation of
interests and were in line with internationally recognized collective objectives.
While these features of the
goals may also contribute to explaining

effectiveness
1.0

, they should be taken into account in the assessment itself


in addition to
goal achievement


so as to arrive at

effectiveness 2.0

.

In addition, we also
include the ‘process’ as an indicator o
f ‘effectiveness 2.0’, namely the ‘strategic
steps’ that the EU takes in order to achieve its policy objectives.

Analysing the
‘process’ will help us to make clear to what extent the EU has contributed to its
degree of goal achievement itself, instead of t
hird actors and/or external factors.
This

more sophisticated measure of effectiveness

(2.0)

allows us to get a better

2

grip on the specific contribution the EU has made to arriving at particular
international decisions (rather than simply measuring the degr
ee to which such
decisions correspond to the EU’s policy objectives).


The paper proceeds in two major steps. First, we develop the theoretical argument
by introducing core characteristics of EU policy objectives in multilateral
institutions. Thereby, thes
e core characteristics are systematically integrated into
a sophisticated measurement of effectiveness (complementing the established
criterion of goal achievement). Second, we apply this measure briefly to
two

cases
so as to illustrate the added value of

effectiveness 2.0

. The t
wo

cases explore the
EU’s effectiveness at (1) the 2009 Copenhagen Climate Summit (i.e. the 15
th

Conference of the Parties to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change)
displaying a low level of achievement of highly ambitious

EU policy objectives;

and

(2) the 2005 Tunis World Summit on the Information Society of the
International Telecommunication Union displaying a high level of achievement of
rather unambitious EU policy objectives.


1. Introduction


In this paper, we argue
for an upgraded definition and operationalisation of the
concept of European Union (EU)
‘effectiveness’ as a core element of EU

‘performance’ in multilateral institutions. Since the EU’s self
-
declared ambition to
support ‘effective multilateralism’, variou
s scholars have assessed the EU’s
achievements in multilateral institutions. The European Security Strategy of 2003,
entitled: ‘A Secure Europe in a Better World’, introduced the term ‘effective
multilateralism’ in the EU’s vocabulary (Jørgensen 2006: 30;
cf. Elgström and
Strömvik 2004). Documents in which the EU described its objective to support
multilateralism in more detail are: ‘The European Union and the United Nations:
the Choice of Multilateralism’ (Commission 2003) and ‘The enlarging European
Union

and the United Nations: Making multilateralism matter’ (EU 2004).

The body of literature on the role of the EU in multilateral institutions has
grown out of the EU foreign policy literature, which used to focus mainly on the
EU’s international relations
with regions and states and the identity, interests and
policies of the EU, including literature on, among others, the international
actorness of the EU (Jupille and Caporaso 1998; Ginsberg 1999; Peterson and
Smith 2003; Bretherton and Vogler 2006), its no
rmative power (Manners 2002;
Bicchi 2006; Sjursen 2006; Harpaz 2007; Haukkala 2007; Scheipers and Sicurelli
2007; Niemann and De Wekker 2010; Whitman 2011), its bargaining power

3

(Meunier 2000; Rhinard and Kaeding 2006; Gstöhl 2009) and its structural power

(Keukeleire 2003; Keukeleire and MacNaughtan 2008).

Case studies of the EU’s role in multilateral institutions in various issue
-
areas, such as trade, health, finance and the environment, and with various
conceptual foci, have been carried out (e.g.

Horng
2004; Smaghi 2004; Meunier
2005; Guigner 2006; Rhinard and Kaeding 2006; Groenleer and Van Schaik 2007;
A.R. Young 2007; Schunz 2010).

Over time, research about the EU’s role in
multilateral institutions started to grow and has become more systematic. Larg
er
studies covering multilateralism in general and the EU’s role therein or including a
large number of cases appeared as well (
Eide
et al.

2004; Biscop 2005; Ortega
2005; Elgstr
ö
m and Smith 2006; Laatikainen and Smith 2006b; Cameron 200
7;
J
ø
rgensen 2009;
Van Schaik 2010)
. However, systematic conceptualisations of EU
performance in this literature are still scarce.

Performance assessments that are not related to the EU have been made in
the literature on international regimes, in which especially environmen
tal regime
‘effectiveness’ has been assessed (Rittberger and Mayer 1993; Young 1994; 1999;
Finnemore/Toope 2001; Goldstein
et al.

2001; Miles
et al.

2002; Koremenos
et al.

2004; Breitmeier
et al.
2006). This literature produces insights in the importance
o
f institutional settings and features and the conditions for successful international
cooperation.

The existing attempts to assess EU performance (e.g. Jørgensen
et al.

2011) have made use of, among others, a simple measure of EU effectiveness that
focuses

on goal achievement (next to assessing concepts such as efficiency and
financial viability). This theoretical focus was taken from the literature on
organisational performance (see Lusthaus
et al.

2002).
This literature already
formulated conceptions of performance in the 1940s (Likert 1957). Concepts such
as effectiveness, efficiency and employee morale gradually appeared in the
organisational management literature and were considered major indicators of
performance by the 1960s (Campbell
et al.

1970).

According to the simple measurement of EU effectiveness in terms of goal
achievement, EU effectiveness varies with the degree to which the EU has
achieved its declared policy objectives (Jørgensen
et al.

20
11). We argue that this
‘simple’ way of measuring EU effectiveness has important shortcomings since it
takes the EU’s policy objectives as a given rather than considering those as an

4

element of EU performance and effectiveness itself. Therefore, we develop

an
analytical framework for measuring EU
‘effectiveness

2.0’
in which we

assess the
degree of ambition of the EU’s policy objectives, next to the simple measurement
of EU goal achievement. We also
include
the ‘process’ as an indicator of EU
‘effectiveness

2.0’
, which refers to the
‘strategic steps’

that the EU takes after
having set its policy objectives

in order to achieve these objectives

(these
‘strategic steps’ can mean that the EU takes action, such as outreach to third
parties, or that it does not ta
ke any action at all, depending on the external context
and the EU’s policy objectives)
.

By analysing the ‘process’, we can assess to what
extent the degree of EU goal achievement can actually be attributed to the EU
itself (which also adds something new t
o the simple measure of EU goal
achievement).
1

After having specified our framework, we apply it briefly to

two

different
cases so as to illustrate the added value of our approach. The
two

cases explore the
EU’s
effectiveness

at
(
1) the 2009 Copenhagen
Climate Summit (i.e. the 15
th

Conference of the Parties to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change
(UNFCCC))
and
(2) the
EU’s contribution to the ITU
-
led World Summit on the
Information Society in Geneva and Tunis (2003
-
2005).


2. Gaps in the perform
ance

(and effectiveness)

literature


Some gaps are present in the e
xisting performance

(and effectiveness)

literature as applied to the EU’s role in
multilateral

i
nstitutions
. F
illing these
will give us opportunities to develop our understanding of perform
ance

and
effectiveness
, and enhance its use as a tool for further policy and analysis.
These gaps
relate to

the
measurement of performance and effectiveness

and

goal achievement in particular.

Existing
work

ha
s

dealt with performance measurement/analysis in
different ways. Yvonne Kleistra and Nils van Willigen

(2010)

start their



1

We have to note

tha
t it is impossible to obtain consensus about ‘the optimal set’ of indicators of
effectiveness. The criteria for such an optimal set of indicators are based on the specific values and
preferences of individuals and/or groups of individuals (instead of objec
tive referents). It is very
difficult to create a consensus among the values and preferences of many different people (cf.
Cameron 1986: 541). We tried to develop a model that is useful for doing research on the specific
topic of the EU’s performance in m
ultilateral institutions, which builds on already existing attempts
in this field (e.g.
Jørgensen
et al.

2011)
.



5

discussion on the evaluation of diplomacy by asking if the task is not a
‘mission impossible.’ Gutner and Thompson

(2010)

cite a large
number of
difficulties that lie in the path of the measurement of IO performance, and
Jørgensen
et al.

(2011)
claim that performance is “internally too complex to be
used…as a unified tool for analysis”. Each of these exercises into the
evaluation of the p
erformance of IOs (and there are others, including Kissack

(2010)
, van Schaik

(2010)
, etc.) have provided input into discussions on how
to unpack the meaning of, and subsequently develop a framework for, the EU’s
performance in IOs. They have shown that me
asuring performance in
international institutions is a complex process that needs to be ‘unbundled.’

Firstly, any discussion on ‘performance’ alludes to a rich literature in
public management/public administration. This literature highlights the use of
‘pe
rformance information’ to encourage and develop better policymaking. The
term effectiveness
used in this literature

relate
s

to measurement of inputs,
costs, outcomes, effects
,

etc. At the macro level of performance measurement
(the international level), th
ese are not easily or reliably quantified. Hence,
measurement

methods

need

further development. Understanding that
effectiveness
is

not easily or reliably ‘measured’ at the international level leads
us to question how we can conceptualise
it

in order to sy
stematically examine
it
.

A feature of Gutner and Thompson

(2010)
, as well as Kleistra and Van
Willigen’s

(2010)

work is a focus on process
-
based models as most important
for determining performance evaluation
. In this paper, we use the ‘process’ as
an indi
cator of EU ‘effectiveness 2.0’. We argue that the more
the EU takes

the
external negotiation context and the character of its policy objectives into
account when it takes

‘strategic steps’ during the process phase (here: the
negotiations within the multil
ateral institution) in order to achieve its policy
objectives
, the more effective it is (
these ‘strategic steps’ can mean that the EU
undertakes action, such as outreach to third parties, or that it does not take any
action at all, depending on the externa
l
negotiation
context

and the character of
its policy objectives
)
.

Secondly


and in the context of this paper, our focus point


we
further
argue that the ‘simple’ way of measuring EU
effectiveness as goal
achievement

has important shortcomings since it
takes the EU’s stated goals as
a given rather than considering those as an element of

effectiveness and

6

performance

itself. Thus, measuring
effectiveness
is simplified to the point of
being unrepresentative, as

the fact that

goals can be established as, re
formist or
conservative and therefore can be achieved with varying degrees of difficulty
(see also Oberthür and Rabitz

2012
)

is not included in the measurement
.


3
. EU
‘effectiveness 2.0’
: conceptualisation and analytical framework


Thus far the concept of

‘EU performance’ has not been systematically analysed by
International Relations/EU foreign policy scholars. The existing attempts to
analyse ‘EU performance’ made use of a simple measurement of ‘EU
effectiveness’ (besides assessing other aspects of perfo
rmance such as efficiency,
financial viability and relevance) that focuses on goal achievement only (see e.g.
Van Schaik 2010; J
ø
rgensen
et al.

2011).

In this paper, we develop and apply a
broader analytical framework to measure the degree of EU effectiven
ess.
Goal
achievement i
s an indicator

that we include in our analytical framework on EU
effectiveness, but we add two new indicators, the EU’s ‘strategic steps’ during the
‘process’ and the degree of ambition/progressiveness of the EU’s policy
objectives,
thereby arriving at EU ‘effectiveness 2.0’
.

We present the three
indicators in more detail below.


3.1 Goal achievement

In the first place, we include the degree of goal achievement as an indicator of EU
effectiveness.
This simple measurement of effectiven
ess was taken from the
literature on organisational performance
.

In this literature, assessing whether an
organisation fulfills the goals that it has formulated for itself is considered to be an
important indicator of
its effectiveness.


In the case of the

EU, t
he degree of ‘EU
effectiveness’ varies with the degree to which the EU has achieved its declared
policy objectives.
T
o operationalise this indicator, t
he question will be ans
wered of
to what extent the EU

achieved its declared policy objectives at th
e end of the
negotiations

within the multilateral institution (here the UNFCCC and the WSIS).

This question will be answered by comparing the EU’s policy objectives on the
most prominent agenda items of the
multilateral negotiations
with the outcome of
the

negotiations on these particular agenda items
.



7

3.2
Process
(the EU’s ‘strategic steps’)

M
easuring the performance of the EU in a multilateral institution by means of the
out
come

only (the results of the negotiations/discussions within the institution)
does not offer a full picture of how the EU performed; an analysis of EU
performance would not be complete if we only look at the EU’s achievements at
the ‘finish line’ and base our

judgment about its performance on this single
moment only, without including the ‘process’ by which the EU came to these
achievements by means of
the

‘strategic steps’ that it took. Thus, we include the
EU’s ‘strategic steps’ during the process phase as a

new indicator to measure the
degree of EU effectiveness (2.0).
The ‘process’ refers to the stage that begins after
the EU has set its specific policy objectives for
specific negotiations
within the
multilateral institution. During this stage the EU
should

take ‘strategic steps’

to
fulfil these objectives within the multilateral institution.

This means that the EU
has to take the external negotiation context into account and decide on the basis of
these circumstances what is the best strategy to choose; whi
ch actions it should or
should not take. Which strategy the EU chooses and what kind of action it takes
also depends on the degree of ambition of its policy objectives. If the EU has
ambitious policy objectives, aiming at changing the status quo, then an a
ction like
coalition building

to gain

third party
support for alternative solutions

to achieve a
negotiation outcome by consensus

can be used as part of the EU’s strategy.
At the
end of the
negotiations

the ‘process’ phase ends, and the EU will have achiev
ed its
objectives to a certain extent
.


3.
3

Degree of ambition/progressiveness of the EU’s policy objectives

Third, we include the degree of ambition/progressiveness of the EU’s policy
objectives as an indicator of EU ‘effectiveness 2.0’.
We argue that t
he

character

of
the
EU’s
policy objectives
matters
.

For example, we could conclude that the EU is
highly effective because it achieved its conservative policy objectives at a
negotiation session of a multilateral institution, even though this would mean that

the EU, by achieving its objectives, did not bring the multilateral institution any
further towards the achievement of its objective(s). We argue that it would not be
right to say that the EU was highly effective in terms of achieving its own policy
objec
tives while it did not contribute to making progress towards achieving the
objective(s) of the multilateral institution. That is why we ask the question of

to

8

what extent the EU’s policy objectives can be c
onsidered progressive/ambitious,
by analysing

to w
hat extent
they

help to move things forward within the
multilateral institution towards the objective of this institution.
W
hen the objective
of the institution is not yet established (in the
negotiation
s leading up to the
coming into being of the
institut
ion
) the question

can be a
nswered of

how
ambitious the EU wants the objective(s) of the multilateral institution to be.

We
consider the

progressiveness
/ambitiousness’

of an actor’s objectives as an
essential part of its degree of effectiveness within an i
nternational environmental
convention.
We argue that ambitious policy objectives that aim at changing the
status quo and moving the multilateral institution closer to its objectives can be
considered effective, as opposed to conservative objectives that bl
ock progress
within the institution.

Also, t
he
degree of ambition/
progressiveness of the EU’s
objectives determines to a considerable extent the degree to which these objectives
can be achieved in the given international negotiating context.


Thus, to sum

up
, we measure EU ‘effectiveness 2.0’ by means of the following
indicators
: EU goal achievement,
process (the EU’s ‘strategic steps’) and the
degree of ambition/progressiveness of the EU’s policy objectives. The following
table gives an overview of these
indicators (how they are operationalised and what
their spectrum/range is):



Effectiveness
2.0’
(Indicators):

Operationalising
question(s)

Spectrum
/range (from high
to low degree of
effectiveness
)

Goal
achievement

To what degree did the EU
achieve its po
licy objectives
(stated before the
negotiations
) at the end of
the negotiations

(by
looking at the text of the
final decisions of t
he
negotiations
)?

Very high
degree of
achievement of
its objectives

Very low degree of
achievement of its
objectives

Process

(the
EU’s
‘strategic steps’)

To what extent did the EU
keep the external

negotiation

context in
mind, as well as the degree
of ambition of its own
objectives, when it
prepared and carried out
its

strategic steps

?

External
context and
character of its
ob
jectives very
well taken into
account; very
good strategy

External context
and character of its
objectives not taken
into account; very
bad strategy

Degree of
ambition
/
To what extent

do the
EU’s
policy objectives f
or the
Aim is to
c
hange status
-
Aim is to k
eep
status quo at any

9

progressiveness

of EU policy
objectives

most important agenda
items of the

negotiations

aim at changing the status
-
quo
, making progress
towards the objective(s) of
the multilateral
institution
?

quo radically,
making a lot of
progress
towards the
objective(s) of
the

institution
(=very
ambitious/

progressive)

cost
,

blocking

progress towards
the objective(s) of
the institution (not
ambitious/progress
ive, but
conservative)

Table 1: Unbundling EU ‘effectiveness 2.0’


4. Cases studied

The
two

cases that we study in this section are
(
1) the 2009 Copenhagen Climate
Summit (i.e. the 15
th

Conference of the Parties to the UN Framework Convention
on Climate Change)

and

(
2) the
UN
-
supported World Summit on the Information
Society, held in Gene
va and Tunis between 2003 and 2005.

We will apply our
analytical framework with the
three

indicators
,

EU ‘goal achievement’,

‘process’

(EU ‘strategic steps’), and the ‘degree of ambition/progressiveness of the EU’s
policy objectives’
to
both

case
s
.


4
.1
The 2009 Copenhagen Conference of the Parties (COP) to the UN Framework
Convention on Climate Change

(UNFCCC)
2


Negotiations at the Copenhagen

climate change

conference of December 2009

were supposed to end the
preceding formal division

of the negotiations

into two
tracks (which did not happen),

namely: (1) the

Ad
-
Hoc Working Group on Further
Commitments for Annex
-
I Parties

u
nder the Kyoto Protocol
, established in 2005,
in which
parties to the Kyoto Protocol

(
excluding the US) discussed a possible
second co
mmitment period under the Kyoto

Protocol

and (2)

the Ad
-
Hoc Working
Group on Long
-
term Cooperative Action under

the Convention
, established in
2007,
in which
all parties to the UNFCCC (including the

US) considered how to
advance action under the Convention
.
Negotiations
took place at three

different
levels. First, negotiations proceeded among senior officials of the parties to the

UNFCCC and the Kyoto Protocol during the first week of the conference. Second,
ministers joined

the conference during its


high
-
level segment

.
In Copenhagen

minis
ters arrived earlier than usual

because the conference was to culminate

in a



2

The text of this subsection is based on Groen, Niemann and Oberth
ü
r 2012
.


10

third level of deci
sion
-
making. D
ue to the far
-
reaching decisions expected
,
heads
of state and government were invited to take the final
decisions

during the last
days of the negotiati
ons
.
About

30 heads of state and government were convened
informally during the last days of the conference to hammer out what was to

become the main outcome of the conference: the Copenhagen Accord.



4.1.1 G
oal achievement

The EU’s main objective for the Copenhagen
negotiations

was to arrive at a
legally binding agreement to limit global average temperature rise to less than 2
o
C
above pre
-
industrial levels. In order to limit the temperature rise to less than
2
o
C
both developed and developing countries should reduce their GHG emissions by
2020 and further down the road. This objective is recorded in the Environment
Council conclusions from October 2009 as well as in the European Council
conclusions from Decembe
r 2009 (held when the Copenhagen climate conference
was already taking place).
3

The EU

did not achieve this objective
. The 2
o
C limit is
mentioned in the Copenhagen Accord, the negotiating outcome, but no legally
binding global GHG emission reduction target
s are mentioned. Parties could
submit reduction targets to the UNFCCC secretariat, but these are not binding
(UNFCCC 2009).

Thus, in terms of goal achievement the EU’s degree of
effectiveness can be considered relatively low.


4.1.2.

Process
(EU
‘strategic steps’)

The EU’s lack of internal coherence
on some agenda items of the international
negotiations, like the greenhouse gas reduction target and financial support,
led to
a lack of outreach towards third countries and coalition buildin
g efforts,

a
‘strategic step’ that the

EU should have taken in order to

get closer

to its main
policy

objective

of arriving at a legally binding agreement to limit global average
temperature rise to less than 2
o
C above pre
-
industrial levels. In addition, t
he EU

made

a bad strategic move by
stating that it wanted to abandon the Kyoto
Protocol
, which

hampered coalition building with the developing countries.
Furthermore
, alternative solutions
, which were necessary as ‘strategic steps’ to



3

Environment Council conclusions,
21
October 2009
, available at
:
http://www.consilium.europa.eu/uedocs/cms_data/docs/pressdata/en/envir/110634.pdf
, European
Council conclusions, 11 December 2009, available at:
http://register.consilium.europa.eu/pdf/en/09/st00/st00006.en09.pdf
.


11

achieve the main EU objective,

could not be formulated nor gained support for

by
the EU

because of the internal disagreements

between its member states
.
Thus, the
EU’s effectiveness in terms of the ‘process’ (EU ‘strategic steps’) can be
considered relatively low.


4.1.3

Degree of ambi
tion/progressiveness of EU policy objectives

The objective of the
UNFCCC
, written down in article two, is:

to achieve […] stabilization of greenhouse gas concentrations in the
atmosphere at a level that would prevent dangerous anthropogenic
interference wi
th the climate system.

[…]


I
nterference

by human beings with the climate system

is allowed up to the point
that it becomes dangerous. Therefore, stabilisation of gree
nhouse gas
concentrations shall

be achieved

at such a level that

this point w
ill not be r
eached.
A 2
o
C increase in temperature was determined by scientific knowledge as the
upper limit beyond which risks increase significantly (IPCC 2007).

The EU’s main
objective for the Copenhagen
negotiations

was to arrive at a legally binding
agreement to l
imit global average temperature rise to less than 2
o
C above pre
-
industrial levels. In order to limit the temperature rise to less than 2
o
C
,

both
developed and developing countries should reduce their GHG emissions by 2020
and further down the road.
The
EU’s objective is very ambitious
. It aims at
bringing the
UNFCCC

closer towards its ultimate objective
. Also,

it is much more
ambitious than the positions of the other major negotiating parties like the US,
India and China.
Thus, in terms of the degree of
ambition of the EU’s policy
objectives, the EU’s degree of effectiveness can be considered relatively high.


4
.2

The
World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS)


The WSIS was established by a resolution agreed at the UN’s General Assembly
in 2001 (which

related to a decision made at the ITU’s Plenipotentiary Conference
in 1998). The ITU, one of the UN’s specialized agencies was entrusted with the
leadership of the activity, with UNESCO playing a major role in contributing
towards the substantive elements

(and additionally helping to shift the discussion
from technical issues of access and connection towards deliberation of human
rights and education as well).


12

As a broad issue area for policymakers, the WSIS was split over two
‘phases.’ Both phases culmina
ted in large conferences, held in Geneva and Tunis
in 2003 and 2005 respectively. The first phase focused on the development of a
common set of agreed principles for the Information Society, and the second set
out with the intention of turning those ‘princ
iples into action.’ It did this through
preparation of concrete action plans with (non
-
binding) measurable outcomes and
by means of other


equally loose


governance strategies, such as sharing
information on national strategies through an open project re
pository, through
surveys benchmarked against the UN’s
Mil
lennium Development Goals, and
through the creation of a voluntary fund for implementation of development
projects relating to ICT usage (the Digital Solidarity Fund).


4.2.1.

Goal achievement

The m
ain aim of the EU within the context of the WSIS was to ensure that a
coherent discourse on the global role of ICT in development policy took place. As
one of the largest donors of development aid (also specifically for ICT), the EU
was keen to ensure that

its activities were not undermined by the statements
emerging from the WSIS. The EU did achieve its main aim to a very large extent.
By the end of the UN Summit negotiations, parties had agreed on several concrete
measures that could be taken to ensure th
at all involved stakeholders would work
towards achieving the reduction of poverty through application of ICTs in various
projects. Also, it was decided to create a new (voluntary, private) Digital
Solidarity Fund, which was initially not considered a nece
ssary outcome from the
WSIS, but the EU supported its creation. This means that the EU’s effectiveness in
terms of goal achievement can be considered relatively high.


4.2.2

Process

(EU ‘strategic steps’)

The discussions that took place in the Preparatory

Com
mittee for the WSIS
allowed the States that were present to discuss the aims and objectives of the
WSIS, and the process by which these would be achieved. The EU did not shy
away from presenting a large variety of ideas to the Preparatory Committee, ma
ny
of which were in the end taken up in the WSIS process itself. The EU took many
assertive ‘strategic steps’ during the WSIS process that were beneficial in the
given international context for achieving its policy objectives. T
he EU was very

13

active during

the preparatory sessions, helping the PREP
-
COM execute its work
and supporting the shaping of the agendas prior to the big meetings.
The EU
strongly supported the initial process of developing a discussion on the impact of
the Information Society at a glo
bal level. In documentation submitted to the
Preparatory Committee of the WSIS, the European Union reiterated its long
-
standing commitment to the discussion of the impact of ICTs in a global
environment (witness G7 conference organized by the European Comm
ission on
the Global Information Society


in 1995).
Also, the EU had been very actively
supporting the engagement of broader civil society in the WSIS process, which
helped to shape the political discussions that would take place. Thus, we can state
that
the degree of EU effectiveness in terms of the ‘process’ (EU ‘strategic action’)
was relatively high.


4.2.3 Degree of ambition/progressiveness of EU policy objectives

The main objective of the WSIS was to facilitate global discussion on the impact
of the
Information Society, and its use in ‘extending the benefits of the
Information Society to all [by being] development oriented, overcoming the digital
divide’ (Report of the First Meeting of the Preparatory Committee, 2002: Annex
4). More concretely, the WS
IS was established to link the use of Information and
Communication Technologies (ICTs) to contribute towards the achievement of the
Millennium Development Goals. The EU was a strong supporter of the initiative,
and clearly showed its desired engagement in

this global forum, with its active
participation in many of the preparatory actions. In large part, the goals set for the
WSIS were concomitant with existing EU internal policies on the Information
Society. In this way, the EU was simply externalising an
existing set of policy
objectives that were already well accepted within its borders. It saw the
opportunity to bring coherence and gather global support for its Development and
ICT policies. The main aim of the EU within the WSIS was simply to ensure that

a
coherent discourse on the global role of ICT in development policy would take
place. This objective cannot be considered very ambitious. It is not far reaching as
the EU was not aiming to change the WSIS’ objectives into a more ambitious
direction but s
imply externalised its internal policy objectives. Thus, the EU’s
effectiveness in terms of the degree of ambition of its objectives can be considered
only moderate.


14


5
. Conclusion


This paper set out to further develop a conceptualisation of the concept of EU
effectiveness in multilateral institutions. It started with the premise that we need to
formulate a better understanding of the effectiveness of the EU in its performance
in
mul
tilateral

institutions. In this way, we can start to build up a better
appreciation of the EU’s specific performance in different negotiation contexts
,
and start to fill in the gaps in the emergent literature on EU performance
.
Through
an examination of cu
rrent literature in the field, we have seen that ‘performance’
(and effectiveness)


as a concept


lacks consistent and systematic models.


To this end,
we tried to refine

in this paper

the often
-
used method to
measure EU effectiveness through the indica
tor of simple goal achievement by
adding the EU’s contribution to the ‘process’ (‘strategic steps’) and the degree of
ambition of its policy objectives
4

as additional indicators of EU effectiveness.
We
show that these

indicators

are interlinked
and
impact
on the overall ‘performance’
of the EU
in multilateral institutions.
.

This analysis therefore contributes to the
emergent broader discussion on understanding the performance of the EU in
multilateral institutions.

The
initial results pertaining to the c
as
es studie
d show that the three
indicators of EU effectiveness are highly interlinked. First,

there seems to be an

interesting
interrelationship between the degree of ambition of the EU’s policy
objectives and EU goal achievement.
In the WSIS case,
when EU
effectiveness

in
terms of goal achievement was

high, it
was

only

moderate in terms of the degree
of ambition of the EU
’s policy

objectives
. In the Copenhagen case an inverse
pattern occurred: the degree of EU effectiveness in terms of goal achievement was
low while the degree of ambition of the EU’s policy objectives was high. This
interrelationship between the two indicators should be explored further in future
studies.

Second, in the WSIS case, on the one hand, the strategic steps taken by the
EU through

the process closely matched the external environment, which means
that EU effectiveness in terms of its ‘strategic steps’ during the process can be



4

W
e note that Oberthür and Rabitz have also been working on this issue

(the progressiveness of
the EU’s policy obj
ectives)

in a
non
-
published manuscript
.


15

considered relatively high. Furthermore, the EU’s strategic steps in the WSIS case
were accompanied by a hi
gh degree of goal achievement. In the Copenhagen case,
on the other hand, the EU could not take strategic steps that were adapted to the
external negotiation context and its effectiveness was low in this respect, which
was accompanied by a low degree of EU

goal achievement. Thus, there seems to
be an interrelationship between the EU’s ‘strategic steps’ and its degree of goal
achievement that could be further explored.

Third, considering the information emerging from the cases about the EU’s
‘strategic step
s’ during the process in combination with the degree of ambition of
the EU’s objectives and EU goal achievement, it turns out that the external context
is an important explanatory factor of EU effectiveness that should certainly be
taken into account as an

independent variable when an explanatory model of EU
effectiveness is developed. This could be a next step for future research. A
conclusion that we may draw from the case studies seems to be that if the EU’s
policy objectives and its strategy are not ali
gned with the external context (the
constellation of interests of third negotiating parties), it is not likely that the EU
will achieve its objectives. Accordingly, it seems that if the EU’s objectives are in
line with the external context and its ‘strateg
ic steps’ fit this context, it will have
more success in terms of goal achievement.


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