CLEER WP 2012/ 5 - Blockmans & Wessel (eds.)

Principles and practices of EU external representation

Edited by Steven Blockmans & Ramses A. Wessel

With this working paper, CLEER aims to offer a better insight into selected legal aspects concerning the European Union’s redefined diplomatic persona. In particular, the working paper will address issues pertaining to the Lisbon Treaty’s organising principles of EU external action, both under EU law and international law, and the growing practice of external representation of the European Union, especially in the context of other international organisations and bodies. Many questions remain unanswered in this respect, for instance: how can we best understand the relationship between the way the EU decides upon international positions and organises its external representation on the one hand, and its influence, performance and/or effectiveness on the other hand? Does the European Union’s formal status as a subject of international law justify an upgraded observer status within international organisations, a seat additional to that of the EU Member States, or should the EU replace them? Does it matter who speaks for the EU, and in what way? How should we square the emergence of the European External Action Service (EEAS), a hybrid organ consisting of EU civil servants and seconded diplomats from the Member States, with the traditionally state-centred body of international diplomatic law? And what can be expected from the High Representative, the EEAS and its vast network of diplomatic representations in third countries and multilateral settings in the pursuit of the Treaty’s external objectives?

The topics covered in the contributions cast a wide net over the new legal questions and challenges with which the European Union’s institutional framework and law is currently faced, and address ‘selected legal aspects’ of the principles and practice pertaining to the external representation of the European Union, so as to offer new insights into the rapidly developing field of EU external relations law.

This working paper has been prepared in the framework of the LISBOAN Workshop ‘EU external representation and the reform of international contexts: practices after Lisbon’, organised by Dr Louise van Schaik (Netherlands Institute of International Relations) and Dr Edith Drieskens (University of Leuven), with the support of the Lifelong Learning Programme of the European Union, at the Clingendael Institute in The hague on 21-22 February 2012. The contributors assembled in the Working Paper are grateful to the convenors of the LISBOAN workshop for allowing them to publish their revised contributions in the working papers series of the Centre for the Law of EU External Relations.

List of contributors: Steven Blockmans, Paul James Cardwell, Federico Casolari, Ramses A. Wessel, Bart Van Vooren, Christina Eckes, Peter Van Elsuwege, Scarlett McArdle, Hans Merket, Jed Odermatt, Sven Van Kerckhoven, Jan Wouters

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CLEER WP 2012/5 - Blockmans & Wessel