Over the past decades, the EU has developed a patchwork of regional strategies and institutions stretching from the Mediterranean to the Arctic. The EU’s involvement often started without a formal legal basis. The use of soft law instruments frequently allowed to avoid questions of competence delimitation. At the same time, a gradual institutionalisation of some cooperation structures could be observed, most notably in the Southern neighbourhood. The ambition to upgrade the EU’s status in international organisations and fora in accordance with the objectives of the Lisbon Treaty faced significant difficulties. This is due to actions of the EU’s Member States, which want to pursue their national interests in a particular region, or because of the resistance of third states, which do not necessarily see the added value of a unified EU representation. The result is a significant diversity, and a lack of consistency, in the EU’s institutional relations with international and regional actors in its neighbourhood.
Hylke Dijkstra and Peter Van Elsuwege
The European Union is represented on the international stage by different actors and in different constellations. This chapter tries to understand how EU representation in the field of CFSP is organized and applied in practice. It starts by discussing representation from a conceptual perspective by outlining various legal and political dynamics. The chapter continues by analysing three instances of EU external representation in the area of CFSP: first, multilateral representation of the EU in international organizations and fora; second, bilateral representation of the EU in other countries; third, ad hoc representation and mediation attempts by the EU in international and regional conflicts. The chapter concludes that we need to consider the interaction between law and politics to understand EU external representation. It is not simply about legal competences, power politics, or the external environment, but often a combination of these factors which affects the ability of the EU to represent itself externally.
Peter Van Elsuwege and Zvezda Vankova
Migration and mobility is an increasingly important topic within the European Neighbourhood Policy (ENP). The very first ENP Strategy Papers already acknowledged that perspectives for lawful migration and common efforts to combat illegal migration, as well as the establishment of efficient mechanisms for return, are crucial determinants for successful cooperation with neighbouring countries. With the first revision of the ENP the issue of migration and mobility was encapsulated in the two regional dimensions of the ENP covering respectively the Eastern Partnership (EaP) and the Southern Mediterranean. The focus of this chapter is on the EU’s Eastern neighbourhood and EU-related instruments, systematized in three main groups: (1) legally binding instruments; (2) non-legally binding instruments; and (3) operational and cooperation instruments. In addition, this chapter evaluates the effectiveness of the EU’s efforts in light of the EaP’s policy objective to ensure enhanced mobility of citizens in a secure and well-managed environment.