This paper analyses the performance of the European Union (EU) in the World Health Organization (WHO). It sets out a framework for analysing the EU’s performance in relation to unity in external representation. EU unity is assumed to be derived from European Community (EC) competence, the preference homogeneity of EU member states, and the socialization into EU practices of their representatives. The article discusses the increased Europeanization and internationalization of health issues. It argues that this makes it almost inevitable that the EU is becoming a more unified actor within WHO negotiations. At the same time, it points to limitations impeding the EU’s performance that are to be taken into account, notably EU member states being cautious about ceding competences to the EU on health issues, them having widely diverging preferences on issues such as reproductive rights, and not fully trusting the European Commission to take over external representation in WHO negotiations.
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