David Kleimann

Dr. David Kleimann is currently a Policy Advisor of the Chairman of the European Parliament’s Committee for International Trade (INTA), Bernd Lange (MEP). David’s research focuses on law, practice, and institutional change in EU external economic governance after the entry into force of the Lisbon Treaty in 2009 (PhD Thesis: The Transformation of EU External Economic Governance). In international economic law, his research interest lies with the substantive coverage of the most recent generation of preferential trade agreements (PTA) and regional economic integration in East Asia in particular. David has served as a consultant to the Commission funded EU – China Trade Project as well as the World Bank’s International Trade Department and coordinated the trade policy project of the German Marshall Fund of the United States’ Brussels office in 2009/2010. His work has been published inter alia by Cambridge University Press, the Journal of World Trade and Legal Issues of Economic Integration. His comments on EU and international trade law and policy issues have featured in a wide range of international and national media including the New York Times, the Economist, the BBC World Service, National Public Radio, Politico Europe, Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, Handelsblatt (Germany), Financieele Dagblad (Netherlands), Sole 24 Ore (Italy), and the Caijing Magazine (China). David holds a PhD in European, International, and Comparative Law from the European University Institute in Florence, Italy. He was initially educated in law, economics, and political science at Erfurt University in Germany and was later awarded a 1st of Class Master’s degree in international trade law and economics (MILE) by the World Trade Institute (WTI) in Berne, Switzerland.


Research Project

The Transformation of EU External Economic Governance - Law, Practice, and Institutional Change in Common Commercial Policy in the Lisbon Era. This book project examines the law, practice, and quality of institutional change in EU Common Commercial Policy governance after the entry into force of the Treaty of Lisbon in 2009. To this end, the study advances a twofold comparative institutional analysis that is based on a transaction-cost approach to the understanding of legal, political, and informal institutions that govern the CCP and EU external economic relations more broadly. These analyses seek to provide answers to the question whether the post-Lisbon law and practice of EU Common Commercial Policy by the Union’s political institutions has achieved the objectives set out by the 2001 Laeken Council – i.e. ‘more democracy, transparency, and efficiency’ - and hence advanced EU legitimacy in governing Europe’s external economic relations. The study finds, first, that the reallocation of horizontal competences among EU institutions through the empowerment of the European Parliament has generally decreased the process efficiency of the CCP. At the same time, it has markedly decreased the cost of political participation for public and private stakeholders and introduced increasingly effective democratic control to the now bicameral system that governs the CCP in the Lisbon era. Parliamentary involvement, moreover, has radically enhanced process and substantive transparency and opened a space for public deliberation of external economic policy. Opinion 2/15 of the Court of Justice of the European Union has, secondly, confirmed the Treaty-induced tectonic shifts in the allocation of vertical competences. It is argued that the Court’s Opinion provides for the legal conditions necessary to trigger a fundamental change of the institutional practice that governs the conclusion of EU external economic agreements. Ending the tradition of ‘mixed’ agreements in favor of ‘EU-only’ treaty conclusion would further approximate the achievement of all three Laeken Council objectives and render EU external economic governance more representative, effective, efficient, and hence more legitimate.