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Europe in the World: All Change or No Change in Foreign Policy After Lisbon?


The Lisbon Treaty sets ambitious goals for the Union in the field of external relations, but makes limited changes in the pursuit of these goals. The role of the High Representative is reinforced and an External Action Service will be set up, but decisions on the common foreign and security policy are still to be taken by consensus. The Representative and the Service will seek to facilitate the emergence of such consensus and to increase the effectiveness of its external implementation. But this can only be a gradual process, the success of which will depend largely upon the continuing political will of the member states.