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Influencing the Union from the outside

Alpbacher Feuerwehr
Plenary / Panel
German and English language

Statement by E. Bull:
The Case of Norway.
Negotiations with the EU as an outsider is complex. There is no balanced relationship; the rules are set by the other party. Often there is nothing to negotiate about – the acquis is there, you can hope to negotiate certain adaptations or transitional arrangement, but they must be few in number. Nevertheless, important vis-à-vis public opinion in your own country to “demonstrate” that real negotiations are taking place. That being said, the membership negotiations gave a few examples of acquis modifications (management of fisheries and arctic agriculture).
How to influence? The EU is multi-headed. Brussels is but one arena for action. Capitals are often more important. Deals with the Commission are frequently overruled by member countries. Remember that the real power is not in Representations of member countries in Brussels but in the relevant ministries in capitals. Ambassadors are important but not necessarily enough. Even sensitivities between ministries and PM offices in capitals must be taken into account.
In short, as an outsider you have to travel a lot. Often coordinated efforts in capitals and Brussels – representations and Commission – are necessary. It is important not to forget the European Parliament which through co-decision has become more and more unfluential.

As a member of the EEA Agreement Norway can influence at the level of experts at least in theory on par with experts from member countries as matters are dealt with in the Commission. In areas of great importance to Norway (energy), the issue may be taken up with the Commission which is supposed to take the representation into account with member countries. Once the Commission has tabled a proposal, Norway takes the role of an ordinary 3rd country except for the possibilities of addressing the Commission. Norway participates in the making, but not in the taking of decisions. The political sphere is reserved for member countries only. In that phase influencing becomes cumbersome.

Norway is associated with the EU through three sector agreements: 1) The EEA Agreement (single market), 2) Security, justice and home affairs (Shengen) and the CFSP. The arrangements are institutionally different with certain similarities. A common feature: there is participation with no voting rights.

Whatever the rules the EU is a club where member countries interests will always prevail over the interests of 3rd countries or countries with special arrangements.

President of the EFTA Surveillance Authority, Brussels
Partner, BXL Consulting, Brussels
Senior Vice President, Government Relations, Europe, Middle East and Africa, Honeywell, Brussels
Chair, International Advisory Board, European Forum Alpbach, Vienna Chair


President of the EFTA Surveillance Authority, Brussels

1968 Master of Science Degree in Business, Norwegian School of Business Administration, Bergen
1969 Trainee, Ministry of Foreign Affairs
1970-72 Head of Division, Norsk Nefelin, Elkem (Special leave from Ministry of Foreign Affairs)
1973-75 Vice-consul, Norwegian Consulate General, Genoa
1975-78 First Secretary of Embassy, NATO Delegation, Brussels
1978-80 Executive Officer, Ministry of Foreign Affairs
1980-82 Senior Executive Officer, Ministry of Foreign Affairs
1982-84 Head of Division, North/South issues, Ministry of Foreign Affairs
1984-88 Ambassador, Norwegian Embassy, Lagos
1988-91 Assistant Director General, Department for External Economic Affairs I, Ministry of Foreign Affairs
1992-94 Deputy chief negotiator on negotiations for accession to the EU
1991-94 Director General, Department for External Economic Affairs I, Ministry of Foreign Affairs
1994-96 Assistant Secretary General, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Economic matters (in Norway)
1996-2001 Ambassador, Mission of Norway to the EU, Brussels
since 2002 President of the EFTA Surveillance Authority, Brussels


Partner, BXL Consulting, Brussels

1986 graduation from the Law Faculty at the Charles University in Prague
Unit of public international law at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs
1988 Unit of private international law and in two years time became legal adviser within the CSFR delegation for the negotiations on the Europe Agreement on Association
1991-1995 different positions at the Czechoslovak/Czech Mission to the European Communities in Brussels, including the ones of Deputy Head and Head of Mission
1995 became Director of the European Communities Department and the following year Director General of the Integration Section (EC, NATO, UN) at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs
1998 appointed Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs and shortly after Chief Negotiator for the accession of the Czech Republic to the European Union
1999 promoted to I Deputy Minister and appointed State Secretary for European Affairs
2002 Ambassador and Head of Permanent Mission of the Czech Republic to the European Communities
2004 nominated by the Czech Government for the post of Commissioner
co-founded BXL Consulting with offices in Prague and Brussels
2005 joined the European Policy Centre (EPC) as a Senior Advisor on an external basis
appointed European Coordinator for one of the priority projects within TEN-T for the railway network Rail Baltica


Senior Vice President, Government Relations, Europe, Middle East and Africa, Honeywell, Brussels

 President, United Technologies International Operations Europe
 Vice President, Government Affairs, Chrysler
 Senior Manager, US General Accounting Office
 Manager, Lehmen Brothers


Chair, International Advisory Board, European Forum Alpbach, Vienna

1977 Law Studies in Vienna (Dr. iur.)
1977-1978 Postgraduate-Studies, College of Europe, Bruges
1978 Diploma of The Hague Academy of International Law, The Hague
1979 Joined the Austrian Diplomatic Service
1982-1986 Austrian Mission to the European Communities, Brussels
1986-1990 Austrian Embassy, Moscow
1991-1993 Private Office of the Austrian Foreign Minister, Vienna
1993-1995 Deputy Head of Cabinet of Foreign Ministers Mock and Schüssel, Vienna
1995-1999 Director for Security Policy and Policy Planning, Austrian Foreign Ministry, Vienna
1996-1999 Deputy Political Director, Austrian Foreign Ministry, Vienna
1999-2003 Ambassador of Austria to Belgium and Head of the Austrian Mission to NATO, Brussels
2002-2004 Special Representative of the Austrian Foreign Minister for the Western Balkans
2003-2004 Representative of the Federal Chancellor of Austria in the Commission on the Reform of the Austrian Armed Forces, Vienna
2003-2008 Political Director (Director General for Political Affairs) of the Austrian Foreign Ministry, Vienna
2008-2011 Permanent Representative of Austria to the United Nations, New York
2009-2010 Also represented Austria on the United Nations Security Council, New York (President of the Security Council in November 2009)
2011 Vice-President of the 66th General Assembly of the UN, New York
2011-2015 Ambassador, (Head of the Delegation) of the European Union to the United Nations, New York
since 2015 Managing Director for Europe and Central Asia, European External Action Service, Brussels
 Visiting Professor, College of Europe, Bruges and Natolin