Since the Lisbon Treaty, the European Parliament (EP) has considerably increased its competencies in European Union (EU) trade policy. At the same time, a ‘new generation’ of free trade agreements (FTAs), including the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) with the United States, Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA) with Canada, and the agreement with Japan, have been negotiated by the European Commission. Although existing literature has tackled the process of the EP's institutional self-empowerment in this policy area, there is no systematic research investigating the lines of conflict within the EP over FTAs. Through a newly collected dataset of all EP plenary debates between 2009 and 2019 on six relevant FTAs, we extract EP Members’ (MEPs) preferences by means of a manual textual analysis. We then test the explanatory power of the two traditional lines of cleavages within the EP over MEPs stated preferences: position on the left-right axis and support for EU integration. We find that both these dimensions fundamentally shape the conflict in the EP over FTAs. The impact of these two ideological cleavages is magnified in the context of politicized FTAs, namely the TTIP and CETA. Through these findings, the paper significantly contributes to the research on competition in the EP and, more broadly, to the understanding of EU trade policy and its emerging politicization dynamics.

When politicization meets ideology: the European Parliament and free trade agreements / M. Migliorati, V. Vignoli. - In: RIVISTA ITALIANA DI SCIENZA POLITICA. - ISSN 0048-8402. - (2021). [Epub ahead of print] [10.1017/ipo.2021.50]

When politicization meets ideology: the European Parliament and free trade agreements

V. Vignoli
Ultimo
2021

Abstract

Since the Lisbon Treaty, the European Parliament (EP) has considerably increased its competencies in European Union (EU) trade policy. At the same time, a ‘new generation’ of free trade agreements (FTAs), including the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) with the United States, Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA) with Canada, and the agreement with Japan, have been negotiated by the European Commission. Although existing literature has tackled the process of the EP's institutional self-empowerment in this policy area, there is no systematic research investigating the lines of conflict within the EP over FTAs. Through a newly collected dataset of all EP plenary debates between 2009 and 2019 on six relevant FTAs, we extract EP Members’ (MEPs) preferences by means of a manual textual analysis. We then test the explanatory power of the two traditional lines of cleavages within the EP over MEPs stated preferences: position on the left-right axis and support for EU integration. We find that both these dimensions fundamentally shape the conflict in the EP over FTAs. The impact of these two ideological cleavages is magnified in the context of politicized FTAs, namely the TTIP and CETA. Through these findings, the paper significantly contributes to the research on competition in the EP and, more broadly, to the understanding of EU trade policy and its emerging politicization dynamics.
European Parliament; European Union; politicization; trade agreements
Settore SPS/04 - Scienza Politica
12-nov-2021
Article (author)
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/2434/882822
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