Speaking with a single voice: Internal cohesiveness and external effectiveness of the EU in global governance

Eugénia da Conceição-Heldt, Sophie Meunier

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

140 Scopus citations


Under what conditions does the internal cohesiveness of the European Union (EU) determine its external effectiveness? In a first step, this introduction probes the frequent assumption that the more cohesive the EU presents itself to the world, the more effective it is in achieving its goals. The empirical contributions to this collection, which range from trade to foreign policy, highlight instead three configurations of internal cohesiveness and external effectiveness: internal cohesiveness has a positive impact on external effectiveness; internal cohesiveness has no impact on external effectiveness; and internal cohesiveness has a negative impact on external effectiveness. The international context in which the EU operates, including the bargaining configuration and the policy arena, functions as an intervening variable in these causal links. In a second step, this introduction launches a research agenda aimed at explaining these patterns more systematically and determining the impact of cohesiveness on effectiveness.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)961-979
Number of pages19
JournalJournal of European Public Policy
Issue number7
StatePublished - Aug 2014

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Public Administration
  • Political Science and International Relations


  • Actorness
  • cohesiveness
  • effectiveness
  • external relations
  • international negotiations
  • single voice


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