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The legal challenges with coherence in EU Foreign Policy post Lisbon Treaty - Has the European External Action Service lived up to its promise?

Levin, Gabrielle LU (2011) JURM02 20112
Department of Law
Abstract (Swedish)
När Lissabonfördraget trädde i kraft den 1 december 2009 medförde det viktiga förändringar inom EU:s utrikespolitik. Målet var att öka EU:s samstämmighet i dess externa relationer i syfte att stärka EU:s roll som global aktör. Det nya fördraget inrättade en hög representant för den gemensamma utrikes-och säkerhetspolitiken (HR) samt en assisterande utrikestjänst (EEAS). De nya funktionerna är historiskt sett de mest långtgående försöken till att reformera EU:s utrikespolitik. Utrikestjänstens huvudsakliga syfte är att främja att EU ”talar med en röst gentemot dess omvärld”, för att öka möjligheterna till detta har utrikestjänsten 140 EU- delegationer, representerade världen över.

Lissabonfördraget har dock underlåtit att närmare... (More)
När Lissabonfördraget trädde i kraft den 1 december 2009 medförde det viktiga förändringar inom EU:s utrikespolitik. Målet var att öka EU:s samstämmighet i dess externa relationer i syfte att stärka EU:s roll som global aktör. Det nya fördraget inrättade en hög representant för den gemensamma utrikes-och säkerhetspolitiken (HR) samt en assisterande utrikestjänst (EEAS). De nya funktionerna är historiskt sett de mest långtgående försöken till att reformera EU:s utrikespolitik. Utrikestjänstens huvudsakliga syfte är att främja att EU ”talar med en röst gentemot dess omvärld”, för att öka möjligheterna till detta har utrikestjänsten 140 EU- delegationer, representerade världen över.

Lissabonfördraget har dock underlåtit att närmare precisera den nya utrikestjänstens villkor. I juli 2010 fattade Europeiska unionens råd ett beslut ”om hur den europeiska avdelningen för yttre åtgärder ska organiseras och arbeta” , efter omfattande förhandlingar med Europaparlamentet.
I januari 2011 var förväntningarna höga när utrikestjänsten började arbeta. Den höga representanten Catherine Ashton uttryckte i ett tal i början av 2011 när etableringen av utrikestjänsten var klar att;

The aim of all this is to forge a better, more coherent policy, developing
European answers to complex global problems, working with our partners around the world. It's something I know countries have long asked for - and that we can now deliver.

Utrikestjänsten första år fick dock en svår start med anledningen av de våldsamheter som föranleddes av den arabiska våren. Den arabiska våren överraskade EU, vilket ledde till kritik. En del av kritiken härstammar från det faktum att många uppfattar utrikestjänstens uppdrag som oklart. Tjänsten är nämligen inte en institution utan har en så kallad “sui generis”- struktur (unik till sin karaktär) och är skild från kommissionen och rådssekretariatet. Utrikestjänsten har inte beviljats en juridisk personlighet men har rättskapacitet och är skyldig att samarbeta med andra EU institutioner.

Detta examensarbete syftar till att undersöka om EU:s samstämmighet har förbättrats genom inrättandet av EU:s utrikestjänst. I enlighet med detta har jag försökt klargöra några av utrikestjänstens viktigaste juridiska utmaningar från ett internt och ett externt perspektiv.

Sammanfattningsvis är utrikestjänstens rättsliga karaktär en förutsättning för att tjänsten ska kunna erhålla en samordnande roll, både internt bland EU institutionerna samt externt i internationella organisationer och i komplexa problemställningar i omvärlden, exempelvis härrörande från den arabiska våren.

Från ett internt perspektiv finns mycket goda juridiska förutsättningar för att utrikestjänsten kan fungera som koordinator. Svårigheter kan dock uppstå i samarbetet mellan EU:s institutioner och vid gränsdragningen mellan deras arbetsuppgifter, främst mellan utrikestjänsten och kommissionens.

Den externa analysen om utrikestjänstens utmaningar i dess omvärld ger dock en mer pessimistisk bild, särskilt med tanke på problematiken vid EU:s deltagande i internationella organisationer, inte minst i FN.

Viktigt att poängtera är att utrikestjänsten arbete ännu är i sin linda och utveckling av arbetet sker kontinuerligt. Rapporter som utvärderar verksamheten finns att vänta och närmast kommer en omfattande rapport år 2013. Framtiden lär utvisa om tjänsten kan leva upp till sitt syfte att skapa ökad samstämmighet inom EU. Jag är optimistisk till att de juridiska förutsättningarna finns för ökad samstämmighet. Det är nu upp till den politiska viljan om EU kommer att tala med ”en gemensam röst” och om EU på nytt kommer att få en betydande roll på den internationella scenen. (Less)
Abstract
The entry into force of the Lisbon Treaty in December 2009 brought several important changes in the field of EU Foreign Policy. The goal was to enhance coherence in EU external relations to strengthen the role of the EU as a global actor. The creations of the High Representative (HR) of the Union on Foreign Affairs and Security Policy and the assisting European External Action Service (EEAS) are the greatest attempts to reform EU Foreign Policy so far. The Service’s main task is to enable the EU “to speak with one voice” and the possibilities for achieving that task are very hopeful because the EU is now represented by its 140 EU delegations throughout the world.

The Lisbon Treaty failed however to specify the terms of the EEAS,... (More)
The entry into force of the Lisbon Treaty in December 2009 brought several important changes in the field of EU Foreign Policy. The goal was to enhance coherence in EU external relations to strengthen the role of the EU as a global actor. The creations of the High Representative (HR) of the Union on Foreign Affairs and Security Policy and the assisting European External Action Service (EEAS) are the greatest attempts to reform EU Foreign Policy so far. The Service’s main task is to enable the EU “to speak with one voice” and the possibilities for achieving that task are very hopeful because the EU is now represented by its 140 EU delegations throughout the world.

The Lisbon Treaty failed however to specify the terms of the EEAS, leaving decisions on the configuration of the EEAS to a post-treaty agreement. In July 2010 the Council of the European Union took a decision outlining the organisation of the EEAS , after intense consultation with especially the European Parliament.

In January 2011 the expectations were high when the EEAS became a reality also in practice. The HR Catherine Ashton of the EEAS described it like;
The aim of all this is to forge a better, more coherent policy, developing European answers to complex global problems, working with our partners around the world. It's something I know countries have long asked for - and that we can now deliver.

But the EEAS’s first year got a rough start when the Arab Spring took the EU by surprise, which led to lots of criticism. This originates perhaps from that many feel that the EEAS’s mandate is still unclear. Some of the confusion stems from the fact that the EEAS is not an institution instead it takes the shape of a “sui generis body” (unique in its characteristics) in the EU, separated from the Council Secretariat and the Commission. The EEAS is not granted a legal personality but has a legal capacity and a legal duty to cooperate with the other EU institutions.

This Contribution seeks to find if the coherence of the EU has improved by the establishment of EEAS. For this purpose this thesis tries to straighten out some of the most important legal internal and external coherence challenges for the EEAS.

In summary, the legal nature of the EEAS is a prerequisite to be able to have a coordinator role, internally among the EU institutions as well as external among international organisations and world issues like the Arab Spring.

From an internal legal perspective of coherence much seems to be at place. Difficulties can arise between the other institutions in form of collaboration and normal tasks. The external analysis, which is as just as important, gives another picture especially in terms of the EU’s participation in international organisation and recognition from other actors on the global scene.
The work of the EEAS is only in its infancy and the Service is still a work in progress with several reviews about the organization coming up, for example the major report in 2013. The future will tell if the EEAS has lived up to its promise. I am optimistic about that the legal parts for increased coherence are in place and that it is now up to the political will if the EU is going to be able to speak with a single voice and become a world player on the international scene again. (Less)
Please use this url to cite or link to this publication:
author
Levin, Gabrielle LU
supervisor
organization
course
JURM02 20112
year
type
H3 - Professional qualifications (4 Years - )
subject
keywords
EU law
language
English
id
2301393
date added to LUP
2012-02-17 10:08:24
date last changed
2012-02-17 10:08:24
@misc{2301393,
  abstract     = {The entry into force of the Lisbon Treaty in December 2009 brought several important changes in the field of EU Foreign Policy. The goal was to enhance coherence in EU external relations to strengthen the role of the EU as a global actor. The creations of the High Representative (HR) of the Union on Foreign Affairs and Security Policy and the assisting European External Action Service (EEAS) are the greatest attempts to reform EU Foreign Policy so far. The Service’s main task is to enable the EU “to speak with one voice” and the possibilities for achieving that task are very hopeful because the EU is now represented by its 140 EU delegations throughout the world. 

The Lisbon Treaty failed however to specify the terms of the EEAS, leaving decisions on the configuration of the EEAS to a post-treaty agreement. In July 2010 the Council of the European Union took a decision outlining the organisation of the EEAS , after intense consultation with especially the European Parliament.   

In January 2011 the expectations were high when the EEAS became a reality also in practice. The HR Catherine Ashton of the EEAS described it like;
             The aim of all this is to forge a better, more coherent policy, developing European answers to complex global problems, working with our partners around the world. It's something I know countries have long asked for - and that we can now deliver.  

But the EEAS’s first year got a rough start when the Arab Spring took the EU by surprise, which led to lots of criticism. This originates perhaps from that many feel that the EEAS’s mandate is still unclear.  Some of the confusion stems from the fact that the EEAS is not an institution instead it takes the shape of a “sui generis body” (unique in its characteristics) in the EU, separated from the Council Secretariat and the Commission. The EEAS is not granted a legal personality but has a legal capacity and a legal duty to cooperate with the other EU institutions. 

This Contribution seeks to find if the coherence of the EU has improved by the establishment of EEAS. For this purpose this thesis tries to straighten out some of the most important legal internal and external coherence challenges for the EEAS.  

In summary, the legal nature of the EEAS is a prerequisite to be able to have a coordinator role, internally among the EU institutions as well as external among international organisations and world issues like the Arab Spring. 

From an internal legal perspective of coherence much seems to be at place. Difficulties can arise between the other institutions in form of collaboration and normal tasks. The external analysis, which is as just as important, gives another picture especially in terms of the EU’s participation in international organisation and recognition from other actors on the global scene.
The work of the EEAS is only in its infancy and the Service is still a work in progress with several reviews about the organization coming up, for example the major report in 2013. The future will tell if the EEAS has lived up to its promise. I am optimistic about that the legal parts for increased coherence are in place and that it is now up to the political will if the EU is going to be able to speak with a single voice and become a world player on the international scene again.},
  author       = {Levin, Gabrielle},
  keyword      = {EU law},
  language     = {eng},
  note         = {Student Paper},
  title        = {The legal challenges with coherence in EU Foreign Policy post Lisbon Treaty - Has the European External Action Service lived up to its promise?},
  year         = {2011},
}