The European Union in International Organisations

Research question/goal: 

Over the past decades, the European Union (EU) has evolved considerably as an international actor and has worked towards increased involvement in international organisations (IOs). This project aims to show to what degree the EU, as the most advanced regional integration organisation and thus a ‘most-likely case’, has gained a formal or informal status in IOs, and to explain the observed variance. In a second step, the project will also deal with the EU's effective status, i.e. the degree to which the EU can effectively make use of its status in an IO. It is known that, despite the same formal status, there is a broad variation in the actual rights that the EU enjoys in different IOs. In particular, two questions will be addressed: a) Why are there different arrangements between the EU institutions and EU member states in cases of joint IO membership and how can observed differences be explained? b) Why are there different arrangements for the EU as an observer in IOs and how can observed differences be explained? The project will compile a database on the EU's status in IOs.

Current stage: 

During the second year of the project, we tackled some data problems with regard to the universe of cases. For example, entities listed as intergovernmental organisations in the Yearbook of International Organizations turned out to be non-state actors or policy programmes and therefore had to be excluded from the analysis. For the remaining IOs, we continued data collection on the European Union’s status. After a positive intermediary project evaluation in autumn 2016, further funding was approved.

Fact sheet

University of Mannheim, MZES
2014 to 2020
in preparation
Data Sources: 
EEAS Treaties Office Database, Yearbook of Internat. Organizations, Correlates of War, own data collection, intervies
Geographic Space: 
European Union, EU member states and worldwide