Institutional Competences in the EU External Action (2008:6-7)

The development of institutional competencies within the EU’s external action in general, and in the framework of the Common Foreign and Security Policy and European Security and Defence Policy in particular, have brought questions concerning the division of roles between the different actors to the fore. Meanwhile, as ambition has increased so has expectations.

This volume contains two new reports and an introduction in which this development is examined and where challenges to the consistency in the field of EU external representation and action are identified.

Boundary Problems in EU External Representation by Geoffrey Edwards and David Rijks examines the tripartite system of external representation and diplomacy, which involves the Member States, the Council and the European Commission. The system has implied boundary problems concerning tasks, responsibilities and functions. The authors predict that the relationship between national and European diplomacy will change and that national embassies could be transformed from constituting the backbone of European diplomacy to a fall-back instrument for Member States when European diplomacy cannot deliver. Furthermore, the authors provide a number of policy recommendations for the creation of the European External Action Service, such as the importance of defining its tasks.

The Security-Development Nexus: The Challenge of Coherence in the ESDP by Francesco Anesi and Lisbeth Aggestam analyses the policy linkage between security and development in terms of coherence and coordination within the framework of the European Security and Defence Policy. The main results of the analysis are that the pillar structure of the Union is a serious obstacle for the coherence between development and security policies but that there is an emerging consensus which guides strategic policy formulation. The authors conclude that a more unified approach would benefit coherence across the security-development nexus and that the creation of a Lesson Learning Unit would help providing a more strategic sense of direction rather than letting the process drive the policy.

The reports were presented at the seminar Institutional Competences in EU External Action and are part of the research project Representation, delegation and democracy.

icon 2008:6-7 Institutional Competences in the EU External Action (699.21 kB) 
     Författare: Lisbeth Aggestam, Francesco Anesi, Geoffrey Edwards, Christopher Hill och David Rijks