Multiple Actors in Framing the EU's External Policy: The Case of the EU Global Security Strategy

13 Pages Posted: 6 Feb 2017

See all articles by Ilze Ruse

Ilze Ruse

Riga Graduate School of Law

Date Written: January 31, 2017


The functioning of the European External Action Service (EEAS) has been a much discussed issue since its establishment. By constructing, through the Treaty of Lisbon, a single actor for the EU external policy, the EEAS now has to deal with finding most efficient ways of accommodating the interests of both the EU Member States and the EU institutions. The paper applies the Principal-Agent method to examine the delegation of EU external policy to the EEAS. The vague mentioning of the EEAS in the Lisbon Treaty and the inter-institutional negotiations preceding the July 2010 Council Decision on the organisation and functioning of the EEAS illustrate how Member States have decided to leave a remarkable degree of autonomy to the new external relations agent. However, as the Principal-Agent theory suggests, any agent that is left with great discretion will eventually form a life of its own, from which the EEAS has been no exception in light of the negotiating the European Global Strategy in 2016. The paper explores the means of control that the principals, i.e. the Member States have employed to keep their ownership in framing the new security strategy of the EU.

Keywords: Governance, external relations, European External Action Service, EU global security strategy, policy delegation

Suggested Citation

Ruse, Ilze, Multiple Actors in Framing the EU's External Policy: The Case of the EU Global Security Strategy (January 31, 2017). European Society of International Law (ESIL) 2016 Annual Conference (Riga), Available at SSRN: or

Ilze Ruse (Contact Author)

Riga Graduate School of Law ( email )

Riga LV-1010

Do you have negative results from your research you’d like to share?

Paper statistics

Abstract Views
PlumX Metrics