Re-examining The Principal-Agent Model In The Realm Of EU External Relations

    • ioannis
    • Presentation speakers
      • Ioannis Spyridakis, Institute for European Studies, Vrije Universiteit
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    The Principal-Agent model has served as the basis for an extensive research agenda in examining matters of delegation between the Council and the Commission in the realm of EU external relations. Yet despite the increasing number of studies, there has been made little attempt to examine the basic assumptions of the P-A model. The two main assumptions are: (i) the preferences between the principal and the agent are opposed resulting in goal conflict and (ii) the agent possesses more information than its principal leading to an information asymmetry. The question, which arises, is if these assumptions hold in every political context? Can they vary and what would be the implication of such variation? This study attempts to provide a critique of the P-A model by extending the notion of contract and hence re-conceptualizing the contractual relationship between the Council and the Commission.