An Essential Companion
Edited by Kolja Raube, Meltem Müftüler-Baç and Jan Wouters
Chapter 26: The European Parliament in EU trade relations with China: a norm and policy advocate?
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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