Edited by Martin Trybus and Luca Rubini
Chapter 13: The External Action of the European Union under the Treaty of Lisbon
Urfan Khaliq 1. INTRODUCTION The European Union’s external action has long been perceived simultaneously as a source of strength and of weakness. In foreign policy terms the potential of the collective action of these particular 27 Member States is a powerful one. More often than not, however, the potential contrasts starkly with the reality. The Union is routinely lamented for the paucity of its foreign policy action; one need only look at the reaction to the Union’s ‘interventions’ in the ‘Arab Spring’ uprisings of early 2011 to get a ﬂavour of the venom from many quarters which is vented at the inadequacy of Union foreign policy. It is argued in this chapter that the gap between the ‘expectations’ of the Union and its ‘capabilities’ is no longer as great as it once was, but that gap is still a sizeable one.1 This ‘gap’ is examined in light of the objectives set out in the Laeken Declaration2 and the changes subsequently made by the Lisbon Treaty3 to the Union’s structures and institutions. The discussion, in particular, examines the role of the High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy (High Representative) and the President of the European Council, and the establishment of the new European External Action Service (EEAS). 1 I am here using the terminology of Hill, C. (1993), ‘The Capability– Expectations Gap, or Conceptualizing Europe’s International Role’, Journal of Common Market Studies, 31 (3), 305–328. 2 Presidency Conclusions, European Council Meeting, Laeken 14 and...
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