Decisions on Operational Action and Union Positions: Back to the Future?
THE EUROPEAN UNION AFTER LISBON: CONSTITUTIONAL BASIS, ECONOMIC ORDER AND EXTERNAL ACTION, Herman-Josef Blanke and Stelio Mangiameli, eds., Springer, 2011
18 Pages Posted: 8 Jul 2010 Last revised: 28 Oct 2014
Date Written: May 17, 2010
The simplification of the European Union’s instruments was as a key objective of the reform process launched by the Laeken European Council in December 2001. This paper suggests that the manner in which the Treaty of Lisbon gave effect to this objective in the context of the CFSP signals a return, in essence, to a state of affairs that existed under the Maastricht Treaty. While not exactly regressive in its effects, this return to an earlier set of arrangements cannot be described as a truly progressive development either, since the Lisbon Treaty dealt with the simplification of the CFSP’s instruments in a rather superficial manner. Indeed, it seems fair to say that the Lisbon Treaty has merely rearranged what was already lying around in the CFSP’s toolbox without taking the trouble to sharpen those tools for the job at hand.
The paper falls into two main parts. Section 2 charts the historical evolution of common positions and joint actions from mere policy objectives of European foreign policy cooperation to formal legal instruments of the CFSP. Section 3 examines how the simplification of the Union’s acts was implemented in the CFSP and highlights some of the shortcomings of the Lisbon Treaty in this area.
Keywords: CFSP, Treaty of Lisbon, legal acts, simplification, operational action
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