Improving the EU's Status in the UN and the UN System: An Objective without a Strategy?

28 Pages Posted: 1 May 2014

See all articles by Jan Wouters

Jan Wouters

KU Leuven - Leuven Centre for Global Governance Studies

Anna-Luise Chané

KU Leuven - Leuven Centre for Global Governance Studies

Jed Odermatt

The City Law School ; Centre of Excellence for International Courts (iCourts)

Date Written: April 1, 2014

Abstract

The Lisbon Treaty emphasizes the EU’s commitment to multilateralism, stating that it ‘shall seek to develop relations and build partnerships with [...] international, regional or global organisations’ and to ‘promote multilateral solutions to common problems, in particular in the framework of the United Nations’ (Article 21(1), second para., TEU). One of its key goals in external relations is ‘to support and work for effective multilateralism, with the United Nations at its core’. However these global ambitions are often not matched by the level of participation and representation that the EU enjoys in the UN and the UN system. This contribution examines some of the legal and political issues that are at play as the EU attempts to enhance its cooperation with and representation in the UN and the UN system. It examines these issues with regard to UN bodies that have been identified as targets for closer co-operation and others where the EU could potentially pursue upgraded status. It analyses both the EU’s participation in the respective fora and the legal and political potential for improving the Union’s status. The EU not only remains faced with a series of internal and external obstacles as a participant within the UN and the UN system, barring it from taking up its leading role at the global level – it currently also lacks a convincing strategy to overcome them.

Keywords: European Union, United Nations, United Nations General Assembly, Effective Multilateralism, Human Rights Council, Food and Agriculture Organization, International Maritime Organization, International Atomic Energy Agency, United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization

Suggested Citation

Wouters, Jan and Chané, Anna-Luise and Odermatt, Jed, Improving the EU's Status in the UN and the UN System: An Objective without a Strategy? (April 1, 2014). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2431171 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2431171

Jan Wouters (Contact Author)

KU Leuven - Leuven Centre for Global Governance Studies ( email )

House De Dorlodot - Deberiotstraat 34
Leuven, B-3000
Belgium

HOME PAGE: http://www.globalgovernancestudies.eu

Anna-Luise Chané

KU Leuven - Leuven Centre for Global Governance Studies ( email )

Charles Deberiotstraat 34
Leuven, B-3000
Belgium

Jed Odermatt

The City Law School ( email )

Northampton Square
London, EC1V OHB
United Kingdom
EC1V 0HB (Fax)

Centre of Excellence for International Courts (iCourts) ( email )

Nørregade 10
Copenhagen, København DK-1165
Denmark

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