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TRIGGER Newsletter #2

November 2019


From December 2018, TRIGGER team has been working hard to create and deliver the first results of the project. The first year has been quite an interesting and challenging journey for all of us.

We hope you enjoy learning more about the outcomes that have been produced by the project team during the first year of the project! We will soon release the first two datasets which aim at explaining and evaluating the relation between the EU governance and its impact on EU actorness abroad.

Have a nice reading and keep following us to receive all the updates of our work in the next months!


From 11 to 14 November, at the European University Institute (EUI) in Fiesole, Italy, a series of activities, meeting and workshops took place, in order to prepare the forthcoming year of work and to collect key-data with high-level experts.

3rd TRIGGER Consortium
Meeting in Fiesole

12 November 2019

Workshop on Relation Between
EU and Global Governance

12 November 2019

Seminar on AI-Enabled
Sentiment Analysis

12 November 2019

Foresight Workshop

13 and 14 November 2019


CEPS Ideas Lab

5 and 6 March 2020

The Egg, Brussels, Belgium. More information at:

State of the Union

7 and 8 May 2020

European University Institute (EUI), Florence, Italy. More information at: https://stateoftheunion.eui.eu/


Modes of global governance remain a complex and multifaceted area of the political reality and regulatory practice at transnational and global political level. They essentially manifest structures, exercise and outcomes of political power and public authority in multilevel, multi-actor decision-making constellations at global level. Global governance itself has become the key reference point for the management of global public goods in a multipolar international political system, in which public authority and political sovereignty is dispersed over various political levels and entities.

In its most functional forms, it has to be understood as the closest the international community of states and relevant actors gets to participatory, transparent and accountable decision-making modes at global level. Focusing on oftentimes far-reaching aspects of global politics, modes of global governance require thorough analysis in order to identify their tangible and intangible components. Stock-taking of their quality, texture and development over time is hence the necessary entry point into any further analysis.

Adding to this stock-taking exercise, Work Package 1 on ‘Mapping and measuring global governance’ delivered two new datasets at the end of August 2019:

  D1.1 Dataset on global governance regimes, tools and approaches (Lead: EUI) 

The dataset maps existing global governance practices and modes. It takes stock of the diversity of instruments, regimes, processes and partnerships applied and evolution over time. It consists of governance arrangements on three main levels: global, intercontinental, and regional integration. Research for the dataset and the data collection have yet confirmed that also regional level governance arrangements can prove interesting for the analysis as they oftentimes represent parallel arrangements inspired by the global level that further strengthen the existing global governance approaches.

The dataset consists of three layers:

•  Global Governance Arrangements:

A qualitative dataset with a total of 167 entries – 35 international organisations with global membership reach and 132 subordinated agencies, units, funds, programmes, etc. – was manually collected. Starting from the United Nations System and focussing on the four identified areas of TRIGGER deep dives, UN organs, departments and offices, subsidiary bodies, regional commissions, related organisations, specialised agencies, fund and programmes, other entities as well as intergovernmental organisations were taken into account.

•  Intercontinental Governance Arrangements:

A qualitative dataset with a total of 49 entries – 33 intergovernmental organisations with membership reaching over more than one continent and 16 subordinated units, funds, programmes, etc. – was manually collected. Starting from the United Nations List of Intergovernmental and Other Organisations and focussing on the four identified areas of TRIGGER deep dives, intergovernmental organisations, intercontinental unions, development banks, special purpose and regional commissions; communities, systems, agencies and many other formats were taken into account.

•  Regional Integration Governance Arrangements:

A qualitative dataset with a total of 28 entries – 15 regional economic and political integration communities with membership on one continent and 13 subordinated units, funds, programmes, etc. – was manually collected. Starting from the United Nations List of Intergovernmental and Other Organisations and focussing on the four identified areas of TRIGGER deep dives, Political and Economic Unions as well as Integration Communities were taken into account.

  D1.2 Dataset on International Regulatory Cooperation (starting from OECD data) (Lead: CEPS) 

As part of the global governance architecture, the extent of international regulatory cooperation (IRC) has grown tremendously over the past decades. IRC encompasses many different types and degrees of cooperation: From integration through supranational institutions like the EU, to informal dialogues such as the transatlantic dialogue; from cooperation between states in trade agreements, to regulatory cooperation between private actors in transnational private networks. Understanding the different types of regulatory cooperation is crucial for better understanding the EU’s position in global governance. In order to enhance the understanding of international regulatory cooperation, several datasets on different types of cooperation were therefore collected. These datasets will be the basis for TRIGGER’s future analyses of the EU’s effectiveness and actorness in global governance.

Four datasets have been collected:

•  Free Trade Agreements and Regional Trade Agreements:

(a) A qualitative dataset of 36 EU trade agreements was manually collected. Manual collection included standardised information from official sources, but also additional qualitative data such as the objective of the agreement.
(b) A quantitative dataset of 2,737 International Agreements was scraped from the Eur-Lex website.

•  Bilateral Investment Agreements:

The dataset contains meta-data on 1,426 bilateral investment agreements.

•  Mutual Recognition Agreements:

The dataset contains meta-data and additional qualitative data on 7 exemplary mutual recognition agreements.

•  Transnational Private Regulation:

(a) A qualitative dataset was collected manually to provide an overview of 9 exemplary transnational private regulatory regimes.
(b) A quantitative dataset of 452 private standards was scraped from the ITC standards map.


A data science approach to EU differentiated integration

31th October, 2019

The EU has adopted around 180,000 laws in its 62 years of history, shaping the lives of European citizens, from food to trade, from privacy to roaming, from banking to migration. In the context of the TRIGGER project, we have collected a dataset of more than 148,000 of these EU laws and have started experimenting with a machine-based approach to analyse them.

Read more


The Elephant and the Meter: Valuing and Evaluating Global Governance

2nd September, 2019

Assessing international support for saving the earth’s green lungs as unsolicited interference into national politics; withdrawals from landmark global climate change agreements and international monitoring regimes for the peaceful use of nuclear power; new global trade wars – the contestation of global governance solutions and the renationalisation of politics around the world has taken up speed.

Read more

Shifting sands: governance of—and by—emerging technologies

8th July, 2019

The world of governance—understood here as the actors, institutions, traditions and processes by which collective decisions are made—is in flux. In part this reflects current political and geopolitical trends. But in part it also reflects the enormous scale, complexity and speed of the interconnecting systems that now require global governance.

Read more

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TRIGGER project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 Research and Innovation programme, under the Grant Agreement number 822735. This newsletter reflects only the author’s view and the Commission is not responsible for any use that maybe made of the information it contains.


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