Published on May 8, 2008
Crisis of Democratic Governance and Centrifugal Forces in the EU: The Struggle over GMOsCPSA Presentation June 1, 2006: Crisis of Democratic Governance and Centrifugal Forces in the EU: The Struggle over GMOs CPSA Presentation June 1, 2006 Yves Tiberghien, firstname.lastname@example.org Harvard Academy /UBC Dept of Political Science & Marko Papic, email@example.com UBC, Institute of European Studies The Object of Inquiry: GMO Governance: The Object of Inquiry: GMO Governance GMOs can be seen as a prototype arena: multifunctional issue-area that embeds fundamental socio-economic trade-offs. Agriculture Biotech is a matter of R&D, industrial policy, competitiveness, agriculture, health, food safety, environment and biodiversity, trade policy, development, and consumer rights. Trade-offs: efficiency vs transparency, competitiveness vs democracy, culture vs technology The Puzzle: hard nut for the EU : The Puzzle: hard nut for the EU The EU has developed the most rigorous regulatory system in the world with respect to agriculture biotechnology (GMOs) Yet, even with these new tools, EU policy remains unstable, volatile, disputed: low legitimacy. The Commission can’t put the lid on opposition. WHY? As we speak, the Council is meeting - entire comitology is questioned by 8 states (DK, AT, EL, CY, PL, LU, MT) + Vienna Conference Presentation Outline:: Presentation Outline: 1. EU Regulatory Framework in Context 2. The Puzzle of Continued Dysfunctionality 3. Argument and Theory 4. Rise of New Actors in EU galaxy 5. Comitology Breakdown 6. Legitimacy in Question: WTO, EFSA, Coexistence 7. Conclusion Context: Larger Project: Context: Larger Project Multi-year Project on Global Biotech Governance funded by the Social Science and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC) Mid-point - 70 interviews in EU, FR, UK, SWITZ (WTO..)(Vienna Summit April 06, Berlin GM-free summit Jan 06 Marko) - 50 interviews in Japan, more to come (Korea, China, Switz) - feedback welcome --> firstname.lastname@example.org Website: www.gmopolitics.com 1. EU Regulatory Framework in Context: 1. EU Regulatory Framework in Context 1990: Regulation 90/220 on deliberate release; approval procedure requires unanimity to block 1997: Novel Food Regulation - mandatory labeling (product based), 1% level 1996-1998: 10 approvals June 1999: Moratorium on new approvals 2001: Directive 2001/18 on environmental release, 0.9% threshold (DG Environment) 2001-2003: EFSA established (based in Parma) 2003: Regulations 1829-1830/2003 on labeling and food policy (DG Sanco) IPE context: a 3-level battle that rocks the global regulatory regime:: IPE context: a 3-level battle that rocks the global regulatory regime: GLOBAL: Initial Emerging OECD consensus + SPS 1999: EU de facto moratorium + CPB negotiations (2000 Cartagena Agreement) 2003: WTO Panel US, Canada, Argentina vs EU 2000-2005: Competition in Codex, CPB MOP meets NATIONAL: Competition between Pro-Science/Permissive Regime and Precautionary Regime REGIONAL: Rise of coalition of GM-free regions in EU, but also Japan, US, Canada, Brazil, etc.. WTO Context: Serious US Trade Losses (Exports to EU, M$): WTO Context: Serious US Trade Losses (Exports to EU, M$) Contrast -Neutral Trade Impact InJapan’s Case (M$, Q in Mt): Contrast -Neutral Trade Impact InJapan’s Case (M$, Q in Mt) 2. The Puzzle of Continued Dysfunctionality: 2. The Puzzle of Continued Dysfunctionality The EU regulatory response works in a few countries where public opinion comes back up: Sweden, Finland, Estonia, Netherlands, UK But, on the whole legitimacy remains in question: growing civil society contestation, rise of GM-free regions Deadlock in council on approvals, differences within Commission, tensions EP vs Commission Why it matters: a test for post-Nice, post-enlargement procedures, test for multi-level governance; importance as global standard 3. Theory: 3. Theory EXISTING EXPLANATIONS: Economic Interests Interest Groups - Collective Action Institutions (Skogstad, Bernauer, Ansell & Vogel) Culture International Norms Unintended Events Argument of Paper: Argument of Paper Use of situation of crisis of democratic governance (contested multi-level governance) by policy entrepreneurs (usually excluded from EU regulatory governance) 1. Institutional Crisis (Aoki) or “general cognitive disequilibrium”: gap between aspirations and policy outputs. Moments of internal splits among ruling actors. 2. Social Movements as Policy Entrepreneurs (Downs, Ellickson): exploiting political space to advance new narratives, agendas + build coalitions. 4. Rise of New Actors in EU galaxy: 4. Rise of New Actors in EU galaxy 1. Civil Society Networks (since 1996): Environmental groups, Anti-globalization groups, Smaller Farmer unions, and consumer groups 2. Impact of Small states: Denmark, Greece, Austria (seizing agenda) 3. Rise of GM-free Regional Network 4. Uninvited Swiss Input: Nov 2005 referendum as catalyst for further mobilization in EU The GM-free Regional Network: The GM-free Regional Network 2003: initial idea by Tuscany and Upper Austria Brussels, Nov 2003:10 regions Florence, Feb 2005: “Florence Charter”, 20 regions Rennes, Nov 2005: 40 regions, over 3000 municipalities - Berlin Conference Jan 2006 Claim higher democratic legitimacy than state or EU level, demand right to declare GM-free unit Political drivers: key regions (with ideological differences), NGO networks, ARE, support of small states 5. Comitology Breakdown: 5. Comitology Breakdown Post-moratorium GM approval process: EFSA evaluation, Commission regulatory committee, COREPER, Env Council When no QMV at committee level, goes up to Council. When no QMV (YES or NO) at Council, Commission approves anyway. This last possibility normally remains off the equilibrium path (threat), but ends up being the equilibrium in each case here. Record of Votes in Council: Record of Votes in Council How States Line Up at Council:: How States Line Up at Council: 6. Legitimacy in Question: WTO, EFSA, Coexistence: 6. Legitimacy in Question: WTO, EFSA, Coexistence WTO: 3 year battle by Commission to defend EU against case launched by US, Canada, Argentina. Biggest case in WTO’s history, most dangerous for WTO. In the end, EU looses but marginally only (undue delay and national safeguard clauses). EFSA: independence questioned by many states, weak legitimacy due to lack of civil society inputs Coexistence: States implement disparate measures since 2002. Commission pushed into organizing major Vienna conference in April 2006. Stalemate. 7. Conclusion: Entropic Forces: 7. Conclusion: Entropic Forces GMOs, a major test-case of multi-functional issue, destabilizes the EU and reveals a situation of crisis of democratic governance. Divisions within and between EU institutions open political space for novel grassroots actors, most recently a coalition of sub-state regions. Continued weak democratic legitimacy of EU regulatory outputs leads to higher politicization and to empowered periphery over center.