Conceptualising Common Commercial Policy Treaty revision: Explaining stagnancy and dynamics from the Amsterdam IGC to the Treaty of Lisbon

Arne Niemann


This article seeks to explain the varying, and sometimes intriguing, outcomes of the past three revisions of the Treaty concerning the Community’s Common Commercial Policy (CCP). The analysis particularly focuses on the development of competence and decision rules, i.e. the process of (further) supranationalisation, of the CCP. Subjecting the external trade policy outcomes of the Treaties of Amsterdam, Nice and Lisbon to causal analysis, the paper argues that stagnancy and change across cases can be explained by four factors: (i) functional pressures; (ii) the role of supranational institutions; (iii) socialisation, deliberation and learning processes; and (iv) countervailing forces.


Amsterdam Treaty; competences; European Commission; European Court of Justice; European Parliament; institutions; integration theory; international trade; Lisbon Treaty; Nice Treaty; neo-functionalism; socialization; sovereignty; trade policy

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