Titel: The EU External Relations after the Lisbon Treaty
Autoren/Herausgeber: Iveta Pychova
Ausgabe: 1., Auflage
Essay from the year 2010 in the subject Politics - International Politics - Topic: European Union, University of Southern Denmark, language: English, abstract: The year 2009 was a year of substantive change for the European Union. After almost ten years of long negotiations and many modifications and opt-outs reform treaty, the Lisbon Treaty, was finally ratified by all the 27 Member States of the Union. For some only slightly changed rejected Constitution for Europe, for others a hope of stronger and united Union. As a matter of course the EU needed a reform, indeed. Especially after the eastern enlargement of the European Union in May 2004 it became clear that the Union can not continue to function under the existing treaties that were drafter for 15 Member States.
One of the major changes that the Lisbon Treaty brought is concerning the external representation of the EU, namely the establishment of the President of the European Council, the High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy that shall be assisted by a European External Action Service. This will be the main content of this research paper, to determine and analyze the developments within the framework of the external relations of the EU in post-Lisbon period.
The Lisbon Treaty is a result of numerous compromises and appeasements and for many still remains merely relabeled Constitution for Europe that transforms the EU into some kind of “super state” with its own President, Minister of Foreign Affairs and diplomatic crops. These arguments are naturally not entirely wrong. The Lisbon Treaty is practically only modification of previously rejected Treaty establishing a Constitution for Europe and number of criticized items were not removed from the Treaty but simply just renamed with its intended functions unchanged, at least in the area of external relations. One might ask why then all the lengthy and complex proceedings? It looks more like a quarrelling over terminology and some players wanting to gain more time for bargaining.
What remains of a concern is also the positioning of the newly established posts. Many Member States were truly astonished with the selected persons. The citizens of the EU were no less surprised not knowing the man who is going to be their new “President” and hearing most of the time for the first time the name of their “Minister of Foreign Affairs”. Logically, it could be that it was just a strategic step of some of the large Member States who were worried to have a strong and confident people on such high ranked posts.