Small States in the European Union: Coping with Structural Disadvantages

By Diana Panke | Go to book overview

Chapter 8
Quantitative Analysis: Negotiation Success

This chapter tests the quantifiable hypotheses on how and under which conditions shaping activities, such as such as arguing, framing, problem-solving, bargaining, impartial mediation, networking with big and small states, lobbying the three EU actors, as well as initiating and joining coalitions, translate into negotiation success. This reveals, Firstly, that small states are most successful for the issues on which they have positions, the more actively they participate in EU negotiations. Activity leaders are significantly more often able to influence the content of a policy in line with their positions than the group of least active states. This holds also true on the policy-country level and the level of individual negotiation participants: negotiators that participate more actively in EU negotiations are also more successful. Not every shaping strategy is equally effective for small states. This chapter also demonstrates that the frequent use of persuasion-based strategies strongly increases the chances of small member states to successfully influence negotiation outcomes, while bargaining-based and some of the lobbying strategies are less important. This is also reflected in the models testing the additive effects of strategies and resources and the ones on interaction effects. Small states are especially successful if they often engage in arguing and if the delegations get good instructions that clearly specify aims, outline domestic problems, provide background information, entail solutions and back the points with sounds arguments. Small states are also significantly more successful, the more frequently they engage in problem-solving and the longer they are in the EU. This reveals that not even the biggest among the 19 small states are significantly more influential in using bargaining strategies. By contrast, general and expertise-based arguing or problem-solving strategies conducted by small states, are increasingly effective the higher their knowledge about the EU, the sensitivities of the other member states and past EU policies (for an overview of all empirical results, cf. Table A.2, Appendix). Interaction effects take place as well.

The first hypothesis expects that the more often states use shaping strategies, the more frequently they will be able to influence policy outcomes in line with their own positions, (H1). This does not take account of the fact that states that use shaping strategies to push a position which is in line with the positions of many other states are more likely to be successful, than states that get active in order to push a position which is not close to the preferences to the majority of the actors.1 This is not necessary and does not bias the analysis (e.g. biased by a state having

1 While the case studies take the positions and activities of other states and the EU institutions into account in tracing the effectiveness of strategies and their contribution

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