Multiple Actors in Framing the EU's External Policy: The Case of the EU Global Security Strategy
13 Pages Posted: 6 Feb 2017
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: Suggested Citation