During the period leading up to the 2005 WTO Hong Kong ministerial meeting and the 2006 Geneva informal meeting, European Union member states became even more strongly opposed to any further concessions on agricultural issues in the Doha Trade Round. Despite this opposition, the European Commission made a further offer which included concessions on agricultural issues. Based on data collected from Agence Europe and interviews with officials from the European Commission and the Council of Ministers, this contribution shows that preference heterogeneity with two camps of nearly equal size, a vague mandate and conflicting messages from principals all give the agent more discretion at the international level.

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