Parliamentary Cooperation and Diplomacy in EU External Relations
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Parliamentary Cooperation and Diplomacy in EU External Relations

An Essential Companion

Edited by Kolja Raube, Meltem Müftüler-Baç and Jan Wouters

In today’s increasingly complex and interdependent world, the role of parliaments in external affairs remains a relatively under explored topic of research. The multiple patterns of global governance are mostly dominated by the executive branches of government, with parliaments relegated to the sidelines. This insightful book aims to challenge this dominant perspective and demonstrate the increased networking of parliaments both within the EU and with external actors outside the EU. It not only sheds light on EU parliamentary cooperation and networking, but also reveals the growing scope and role of parliamentary scrutiny, control and conflict mediation.
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Chapter 26: The European Parliament in EU trade relations with China: a norm and policy advocate?

Shaohua Yan

Abstract

Despite the EP’s empowerment by the Lisbon Treaty and the growing body of literature on EU–China relations, the EP’s role in EU trade policy towards China remains largely unexplored. This chapter contributes to the understanding of the EP’s role from the perspective of role theory. By examining the EP’s role performances in the cases of Market Economy Status issue and EU–China Bilateral Investment Treaty negotiation, it argues that the EP has ascribed a normative role conception in EU trade policy towards China, which legitimizes and empowers the EP to pursue normative agendas in a trade relationship that used to be dominated by technical and commercial concerns. To play that role, the EP has engaged in multiple strategies of invoking norms, shaping discourse, argumentation and persuasion, etc. By playing as a norm and policy advocate, the EP is bringing substantial impacts in reshaping the EU’s trade relations with China.

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