The European Union and the Libyan Crisis

19 Pages Posted: 12 Apr 2014

Date Written: April 10, 2014


This article investigates the European Union (EU)’s answer to the Libya crisis of 2011 to show the unresolved dilemmas of an intergovernmental approach to foreign and defence policies. The Lisbon Treaty has institutionalized a dual constitution or decision-making regime: supranational for the policies of the single market, and intergovernmental for the policies traditionally at the core of national sovereignty, such as foreign and defence policies. In the most significant test for the EU foreign and defence policies in the post-Lisbon era, the intergovernmental approach generated unsatisfactory outcomes because it was unable to solve structural and institutional problems of collective action. Without revising the intergovernmental constitution, it will be difficult for the EU as an actor to play a role in international politics in the future.

Keywords: EU; Libya Lisbon Treaty; sovereignty; intergovernmental constitution

Suggested Citation

Fabbrini, Sergio, The European Union and the Libyan Crisis (April 10, 2014). Available at SSRN: or

Sergio Fabbrini (Contact Author)

Luiss School of Government ( email )

via di Villa Emiliani, 14
Rome, 00197
00390685225051 (Phone)
00390685225056 (Fax)

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