Strategic planning tools for European negotiators to defend their national interests in the Council of the European Union

EIPA Paper – by Frank Lavadoux and Marion-Valérie Grasset – 2013

Summary

Negotiating in the Council of the European Union poses some challenges that are common to most international negotiations but there are other dimensions that are a lot more specific. In order to understand better the specific nature of negotiations on a European level and to develop some practical guidelines for European negotiators, it is important to situate European negotiationsin the more general context of the theory on international relations and to remember that European negotiations are governed by the general principles which characterise the negotiation theory.

This working document hasthree objectives; after having reminded ourselves of the fundamental principles that govern European negotiations, it aims to provide a general foundation, which in turn will be useful for preparing most negotiations within the Council. A series of practical recommendations will then be made in order to contribute to the strategic thinking of the negotiator responsible for defending the interests of his or her MemberState within the Council.

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