Forschungsarbeit: EU External Action and the CFSP – Well-Equipped for the Fast-Pacing Geo-Economic World?

EU External Action and the CFSP – Well-Equipped for the Fast-Pacing Geo-Economic World?

– in englischer Sprache –

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Schriften zum Internationalen Wirtschaftsrecht, Band 9

Hamburg , 242 Seiten

ISBN 978-3-339-13544-5 (Print) |ISBN 978-3-339-13545-2 (eBook)

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Across all continents, the EU operates in a wide range of fields. As a unique player on the global stage, the EU, as a supranational organisation, acts in many respects on a par with other states. Particularly in the area of international trade, the EU has developed a strong and recognisable profile. Within the framework of the Common Foreign and Security Policy (CFSP), the EU is striving to make its voice heard at the international level beyond economic and development policy issues.

The numerous reforms of the Lisbon Treaty have brought fundamental changes, not least but also in the EU’s external action, shaping today’s profile of the globally acting EU. However, the capacities that the EU holds within the CFSP are still characterised by “special rules and procedures”. This spurs the perception that the CFSP is a mere intergovernmental gathering of Member States apart from the other EU external policies, thus hampering a unified international direction and position of the EU.

Therefore, to what extent are the changes brought by the Lisbon Treaty appropriate for the EU to face the fast-moving and increasingly geo-economic world, especially regarding the inadequately designed coordination of trade and foreign policy (CFSP) at the EU level? Is the CFSP a purely intergovernmental policy entirely under the authority of the Member States? How far is the CFSP integrated into the EU legal order? What role does the CJEU’s case-law play with regard to the nature of the CFSP? How coherent is the EU’s foreign policy regime in reality?

To answer these guiding questions, an interdisciplinary and multi-layered approach is chosen through which several dimensions of the development and the status quo of EU foreign policy are analysed in depth. These dimensions include the legal, historical, (geo)political, geo-economic and security dimensions.

The main focus is on the legal examination and classification of the regulations governing the CFSP in the EU treaties in their current form since the Treaty of Lisbon. The insights from this legal analysis are then to be compared with the political realities in the globalised and interconnected world. In a highly globalised world, multiple scientific approaches such as International Political Economy, geo-economics and economic diplomacy perfectly present how intertwined global processes at the crossroads of foreign policy and trade policy are.

Shaping economic and trade policy without security considerations is negligent and unwise bearing in mind the increasing amount of international challenges such as geo-economic threats. Concerning the concrete operational steps in CFSP matters, the outstanding instrument of Strategic Partnership Agreements aiming to strengthen bilateral relations between the EU and pivotal global actors is enlightened and critically assessed.

Thus, in an evidence-based manner, a fundamental plea for a close linkage between trade and foreign policy at the EU level is to provide new thoughts and perspectives on the future of EU’s foreign policy action.


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