Chapter 17: The Lisbon Agenda and the External Action of the European Union: Conclusions of the Debate
Maria João Rodrigues 17.1 INTERNATIONAL CONVERGENCE AND THE EXTERNAL ACTION OF THE EUROPEAN UNION The European Union has an ambitious economic, social and environmental agenda for sustainable development, but it cannot attain its goals in isolation. The implementation of this internal agenda needs to be supported by international convergence in the same direction, to generate a win–win game, avoid the risks of a race to the bottom, and strengthen cooperation to address shared global challenges. These goals should be pursued by the new generation of external instruments of the European Union, when deﬁning partnership and cooperation agreements with third countries. We need a new approach to strategic dialogue on development issues to enrich the agenda for these partnership agreements. This concern should be integrated more systematically into the new generation of EU instruments for external action for 2007–13, which is now being redesigned within the framework of the Lisbon Treaty. First, the aim is that a broader approach should be developed for the external action of the Union, which combines the Common Foreign and Security Policy (CFSP), trade and cooperation policies with the external projection of the internal policies of the Union. This means that the external action of the EU should also integrate the external dimension of policies such as research, environment, education and employment. Second, a new generation of the EU cooperation programmes is being prepared, based on the new political orientations deﬁned by the ‘European Consensus’. Third, a new approach is being...
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