Effective multilateralism in the IAEA: changing best practice

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According to the WMD Strategy, the EU will make ‘multilateralism more effective’ by ‘enhancing political, financial and technical support to verification regimes’ (Council of the European Union 2003: 8). Although the IAEA is mentioned only in passing in this strategy, the IAEA is the non-proliferation organization that has received the most financial support from the CFSP-budget. In the period 2003-12 various EU institutions and instruments have allocated over €100 million to the IAEA. The question is whether the EU has been able to enhance its own effectiveness in the Agency as well as the Agency’s effectiveness. Some are sceptical and argue that the EU’s role in the WMD nonproliferation area at best is modest (Van Ham 2011); others are more optimistic and point to several areas where the EU influences the IAEA’s policy (Grip 2011b; Lundin 2012). Furthermore, because EU member states’ interests are divided on key areas such as nuclear weapons and disarmament (France and the UK are the only recognized nuclear-weapon states among the EU member states; other states like Denmark, Ireland and Sweden praise disarmament), the IAEA thus arguably poses a hard case for EU effectiveness. While there is plenty of academic work on the EU’s non-proliferation policy more broadly, not many case studies actually investigate the EU’s role in various organizations targeting weapons of mass destruction (see, for example, Delaere and van Schaik 2012, for a case study on the EU at the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons). Apart from an article by Lars-Erik Lundin (2012), the former head of the EU delegation to the IAEA, not much has been written about the relationship between the EU and the IAEA (see also Grip 2011b). This lack of interest may be due to a general perception of the IAEA as a technical rather than a political organization. Yet the IAEA is not only a highly technical organization, it is political as well. Its decision-making bodies, the Board of Governors and the General Conference, carry out important political work (Lundin 2012: 12) and it is thus very interesting to investigate the role of the EU in these bodies.
TitelThe EU and Effective Multilateralism : internal and external reform practices
Antal sider17
ForlagRoutledge, Taylor & Francis Group
ISBN (Elektronisk)9781315881553
StatusUdgivet - 2014
Udgivet eksterntJa


  • international politik