Declining effectiveness of the European Union in the International Telecommunication Union: evidence from recent World Radiocommunication Conferences
Paper in proceeding, 2017

The effectiveness of the European Union (EU) in shaping international radio spectrum regulation is assessed by comparing the EU’s objectives prior to and the outcomes of three World Radiocommunication Conferences (WRCs). The document analysis shows that the effectiveness of the EU is declining. Three explanatory factors are identified: 1) the EU was not able to keep coalitions in support of its objectives; 2) the EU failed to contain the increasing influence exercised by African and Arab countries; 3) promoting EU’s interests at international level has become more difficult due to the increasing number of countries actively participating at WRCs. Given the three levels of participation of the EU in WRCs, the European Commission is encouraged to take a pro-active role in promoting intra- and inter-Regional cooperation in order for the EU to restore its leading position. In particular, the EC could act as a facilitator of the dialogue between the European regional organisation and the other regional organisations in ITU Region 1, aiming for a single Regional proposal to reduce the complexity of WRC’s negotiations. In addition, the EC could act as a facilitator of the dialogue between the European regional organisation and the regional organisations operating in ITU Region 2 and ITU Region 3. Building coalitions prior to WRCs might help the EU promote its interests at WRCs. In particular, since the larger the number of supporters of EU’s objectives, the stronger may be the influence of the EU on the process of agenda-setting and decision-making.

European Union

coalition building.

World Radiocommunication Conference


radio spectrum regulation


Maria Massaro

Chalmers, Technology Management and Economics, Science, Technology and Society

Annual Conference of the Pacific Telecommunications Council (PTC), Hawaii, Honolulu

Areas of Advance

Information and Communication Technology

Subject Categories

Political Science

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