The European Union
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The European Union

Facing the Challenge of Multiple Security Threats

Edited by Antonina Bakardjieva Engelbrekt, Anna Michalski, Niklas Nilsson and Lars Oxelheim

This book addresses the challenges presented to the EU by an increasingly complex security environment. Through the interdisciplinary approach taken, researchers in economics, law and political science identify a range of problems relating to the multiple security threats that the EU faces, and present new means to address them within their respective fields of expertise. The contributions provide accessible and policy-relevant analyses of crucial challenges to the EU’s ability to function as a political union in the years ahead.
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Chapter 3: After Lisbon: the new legal framework for the EU’s Common Foreign and Security Policy

Inger Österdahl


The chapter examines the new legal elements in the European Union (EU) Lisbon Treaty in the field of foreign and security policy, as well as the (not fully so new) overarching legal and institutional structures for policy creation. Three legal innovations made their appearance with the Lisbon Treaty. First, the position of High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy was established, and the European External Action Service (EEAS) was formed – the task of which is to assist the High Representative. Second, the EU was empowered to impose sanctions not just against other countries (as earlier), but against individuals and non-state entities as well. Third, a mutual defence clause among the Union’s Member States was introduced. In other respects, where foreign affairs and security policy are concerned, the Lisbon Treaty did little but rearrange already existing provisions. The field remains fundamentally intergovernmental, but should the EU Member States agree on a legally deeper and thus more common policy there are few limits to how far the cooperation may reach. Most importantly, Member States should continue talking for the sake of European and international peace.

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