Declining European Union’s Effectiveness in the International Telecommunication Union: Evidence from Recent World Radiocommunication Conferences

Yale M. Braunstein Student Prize Award Winner


  • Maria Massaro, Doctoral Student, Department of Technology Management and Economics, Chalmers University of Technology, Sweden


Paper Slides


The effectiveness of the European Union (EU)’s performance 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’s performance is declining. Three explanatory factors are identified: 1) the EU was not able to keep or create alliances in support of its objectives; 2) the EU failed to contain the pressure exercised by African and Arab countries to earn their issues a place on the WRC agenda; 3) promoting the EU’s interests has become more difficult due to the increasing number of countries participating at WRCs and of issues at stake.

In order to maintain a relevant role in the international decision-making process for radio spectrum regulation, the EU is encouraged to participate more actively in negotiations with other countries belonging to Region 1 in the preparatory work prior to WRCs. Ultimately, it is argued that the EU should seek inter-Regional alliances, interacting with other Regional organisations, such as the Asia-Pacific Telecommunity and the Inter-American Telecommunication Commission and strive for global consensus.

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