Online Papers on Parliamentary Democracy III/2015

The European Parliament’s Role in EU Trade Policy after Lisbon: Analysis from an Actorness Approach


Yan Shaohua


Abstract: This paper goes beyond the traditional legitimacy and accountability perspective to explore the European Parliament’s role in EU trade policy, by using the analytical framework of actorness, which offers a more comprehensive understanding on the subject. By examining the four dimensions of actorness, namely authority, autonomy, cohesion and recognition, the paper concludes that the EP is becoming a fully-fledged actor in EU trade policy after the Lisbon Treaty. It has been active in speaking out with its autonomous voices and expressing autonomous views that are embedded in its various autonomous tools and actions. In particular, the EP does show a preference for promoting a normative agenda through trade while opening the door for a politicized and protectionist-oriented EU trade policy. Despite a “leftright” divide that impedes inter-group cohesion, the EP is increasingly recognized as an important actor in EU trade policy.



Online Papers on Parliamentary Democracy III/2015

ISBN: 978-94-91704-10-9



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