Research Handbook on the European Union and International Organizations
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Research Handbook on the European Union and International Organizations

Edited by Ramses A. Wessel and Jed Odermatt

Over the years, the European Union has developed relationships with other international institutions, mainly as a result of its increasingly active role as a global actor and the transfer of competences from the Member States to the EU. This book presents a comprehensive and critical assessment of the EU’s engagement with other international institutions, examining both the EU’s representation and cooperation as well as the influence of these bodies on the development of EU law and policy.
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Chapter 4: UN General Assembly, UN Security Council and UN Human Rights Council

Esa Paasivirta and Thomas Ramopoulos


The United Nations is both a possibility and a constraint for the EU. Multilateralism is a key value in the EU’s external action and the UN offers a platform to promote key EU interests in global diplomacy. The changes in the external representation architecture of the EU that were brought about by the Treaty of Lisbon necessitated a review of the EU’s participation in the UN. However, such review can only take place to the extent that it does not conflict with the rules that apply to the international institutions in question. The UNGA, the UNSC and the HRC therefore present three important case studies from the UN system where the Union adjusted its participation in accordance with its own rules and those of each organ, managing to have a consequential role and an impact on the work of these organs.

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