Coordination Processes in International Organisations: The EU at the International Labour Conference in 2005

Peter Nedergaard

Abstract


The EU is not a member of the International Labour Organisation (ILO), but relatively elaborate EU coordination takes place anyway. This paper addresses two research questions: 1) How is it possible to evaluate the coordination of the EU in its specific observable configuration in the ILO?, and 2) To what outcome does this coordination lead and why? Based on an analysis of EU coordination before and during the International Labour Conference in 2005, and on a comparison with coordination processes of the IMEC group, it is found that the Commission and the Presidency act as twin-agents vis-à-vis their principals, the Member States. The Commission is the leading agent in the phase leading up to the Conference; the Presidency then takes over.
On the one hand, due to the Treaty obligations and their interpretations by the Court of Justice, both the Presidency and the Commission are kept within tight limits by the principals. On the other hand, both before and during the Conference, the Member States accept the so-called discursive coordination of the Commission, which seems to be of great (but often neglected) importance. Owing to the organisational set-up in which coordination takes place, the EU is able to coordinate relatively elaborate agreements due to the strength of its coordination as far as professional or technical and political activities (excepting the ILO budget) are concerned. In other more clear-cut or 'simple' policy areas such as the ILO budget, the EU coordination is weak: this contrast with the strong coordination of the IMEC.

Keywords


policy coordination; European Commission; Council of Ministers; social policy; social dialogue; working conditions; ILO; political science; international relations

Full Text: HTML PDF


European Integration online Papers | ISSN 1027-5193
© 1997-2014 ECSA Austria | All Rights Reserved. Webmaster Editorial Assistant