CLEER Research Programme

The Treaty of Lisbon has created a new legal and institutional framework for the European Union. The Treaty merges the European Community with the Union and endows the latter with legal personality. It makes an end to the three pillar structure and includes several institutional innovations in the field of EU external relations, particularly the permanent President of the European Council, the transformation of the High Representative for the CFSP into a High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, and the establishment of a European External Action Service. The Treaty, however, leaves many questions as to the operability of these mechanisms. Yet, the answers to these questions will have a direct impact on the way the European Union will play its role on the international plane and contribute towards enhancing regional and global stability and prosperity.                                         

The Centre for the Law of EU External Relations offers an authoritative research interface between academia and practice in the field of the Union’s external relations. CLEER’s ambition is to stimulate excellence in research, reflection and teaching in EU external relations studies in higher education institutions in and outside the Union and to promote innovative solutions to practical challenges to the external dimension of the EU’s legal order.

CLEER's research programme is spurred by the T.M.C. Asser Instituut's five research fellows in this field, and carried out in cooperation with academic experts at other academic institutions (both in and outside of the Netherlands) and key practitioners at the national, European and international levels.