Diplomats at the Bar: The European External Action Service Before EU Courts
European Law Review, Issue 5, pp. 664-681, 2014
18 Pages Posted: 28 Nov 2014
Date Written: 2014
The European External Action Service (EEAS) is a crucial innovation of the EU institutional architecture, but some of its legal aspects remain obscure. This article investigates a particularly understudied issue: the EEAS’s capacity to be a party to proceedings before EU Courts. The analysis suggests, first, that the Service has standing before the EU judges with respect to administrative issues. At the same time, the EEAS is not autonomous for the purpose of policy management and it can encounter difficulty in bringing proceedings to protect its role in the legislative process. Secondly, the practice of Union bodies relating to the EEAS is inconsistent: EU organs constantly treat the Service as a de facto institution — as far as administrative issues are concerned — but they are unwilling to overtly recognise its autonomy. Despite these difficulties, the EEAS’s capacity to stand before EU judges is likely to favour its affirmation as an autonomous political actor.
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