Rehashed Commission Delegations or Real Embassies? EU Delegations Post-Lisbon
The entry into force of the Lisbon Treaty and the creation of the European External Action Service (EEAS) have transformed the delegations of the EU abroad which are the face of the EU in third countries and in international organisations. Previously they dealt with trade and aid only, now they also deal with foreign and security policy, coordinating and representing the positions of the EU in third countries. This is an important innovation, but one which poses new challenges. In addition, EU delegations to international organizations are confronted with specific problems: the member states’ reluctance to recognize the new competences conferred by the Treaty to the EU and the discrepancies between the new provisions of the EU’s external representation and the internal procedures of international organizations themselves. In order to use all the space for manoeuvre provided for by the Treaty EU delegations must pursue a double objective: further adapting the EU’s external representation to the procedures of the main international organizations; and promoting deeper coordination between the EU and the member states, particularly when shared competences are at stake.
An earlier draft of this paper was discussed at the workshop on "The EU as a Global Actor: Challenges for the European External Action Service", organised by the Centro Studi sul Federalismo (Turin), European Policy Centre (Brussels), Istituto Affari Internazionali (Rome), Turin, 8 April 2011.
2. Coordinating and representing the EU’s common position
3. New skills for a common diplomatic ésprit de corps
4. Towards a Lisbon paradox: EU delegations to international organizations
4.1. EU delegations to international organizations: The legal set-up
4.2. EU delegations to international organizations: The practice
5. Concluding remarks: Real embassies for a weak foreign policy?