European Foreign Policy
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European Foreign Policy

Legal and Political Perspectives

Edited by Panos Koutrakos

Written by leading experts, this book focuses on central issues of the foreign policy of the European Union. The issues explored include: • how the EU’s judges understand its relationship with the international order; • the coherence of the Union’s external action; • the EU’s approach to its neighbours; • the Common Security and Defence Policy; and, • the EU’s participation in international organisations.
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Chapter 2: Consistency, Coherence in European Union foreign relations law

Simon Duke


2. Coherence in European Union foreign relations law Marise Cremona I INTRODUCTION The need for coherence in EC external policy made its way into the Community Treaties as an expressly stated concern at the time of the Single European Act, at a moment when Community external action was expanding and European Political Cooperation (EPC) was institutionalized. The Presidency and the Commission were mandated to ensure consistency between EPC and the EC.1 In transforming the EPC into the Common Foreign and Security Policy (CFSP) the Treaty on European Union reiterated the need for consistency between the CFSP and the external policies of the Community, linking it to the single institutional framework and imposing a duty on the Council and Commission to ensure consistency specifically in relation to external activities.2 The Treaty on European Union at this time also added new EC Treaty provisions on development cooperation, a competence declared to be complementary to Member States’ development policies and requiring coordination between the Member States and the Community.3 From the start, then, we can see coherence appearing as a concern in terms of both interpolicy coherence (so-called horizontal coherence) and coherence between the Member States and the Community/Union (referred to as vertical coherence). In the process of treaty reform that started with the Laeken Declaration in December 2001 and ended with the Treaty of Lisbon, signed in October 2007, the coherence of the Union’s foreign policy has been one of the recurrent themes. The Laeken Declaration asks, ‘how should a more coherent...

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