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EU External Relations Agency System: Institution And Power

Posted on:2013-10-19Degree:DoctorType:Dissertation
Country:ChinaCandidate:L WangFull Text:PDF
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The European integration has undergone dramatic advancement for more than six decades since the ending of the Second World War. This European Project upholds peace and stability in the European Continent for a long time, and has restored and promoted the international influence and status of Europe gradually, which is an important strategic goal for the European foreign policy integration by means of integrating foreign policy instruments and resources to coordinate the member states’ foreign policies. After several decades, the European Union has been functioning as an important international actor in the world arena and brought about dramatic impacts upon the international relations. The construction of common foreign policy plays a unique but significant role in the European integration.Despite the fact that the EU has obtained outstanding achievements in terms of the foreign policy integration, and advanced much as regard the set-up and reform of the foreign policy institutions, to some extent, however, the European Union is incapable of tackling with the complex and considerable challenges within Europe and around the globe effectively and efficiently, as a result of its institutional establishment and decision-making procedures. There exists a broad gap between the effectiveness as well as efficiency of the EU foreign policy institutional establishment in addition to decision-making procedures and the expectations upon them from all actors including both the EU per se and other external international actors.In recent years the academia of European studies has obtained abundant achievements in regard to the EU foreign policy integration and the actorness of the EU, especially with a focus upon the Common Foreign and Security Policy. Consequently, the research about the foreign policy mechanism in the EU level becomes a very important field. With the entry into force of the Lisbon Treaty, the EU has adjusted its institutional and decision-making mechanism in terms of foreign policy and diplomatic operations, subsequently, established the European External Action Service to assist the High Representative/Vice President in her function to coordinate the external relations of the EU in different foreign policy fields. The institutional restructuring and foreign policy decision-making procedures in the EU level delineate its maneuver to narrow the "Capabilities-Expectations Gap" in EU foreign policies.The theoretical basis for this dissertation is New Institutionalism, which mainly has four strands, namely sociological institutionalism, rationalist institutionalism, normative institutionalism, historical institutionalism. Starting with a theoretical analysis about the "Capabilities-Expectations Gap", this dissertation develops a "Mechanism-Expectations Gap" model. This model hypothesizes that the EU foreign policy integration concentrates upon the mechanism building to enhance its capabilities in foreign policy actions as an effective way to narrow the gap between its foreign policy and internal as well as external expectations. The Lisbon reform follows this route. The EEAS is diplomatic service of the European Union to carry out its foreign policies in the Union level, with an aim to ensure the coherence, consistency and effectiveness of its external actions. The fundamental target of the Lisbon reform is to tackle with the "Mechanism-Expectations Gap", that is to say, the gap between the foreign policy aims the EU foreign policy mechanism is expected to realize and the fact that it fails to function effectively to achieve that aim.The establishment of the EEAS is the latest development of the European political and security cooperation since the end of the World War Two. We can assume that it’s urgent for the EU to reform its mechanism in terms of foreign policy and external action with analyses on the external pressures and internal tensions the EU is faced with. The Lisbon reform chooses mechanism building which consists of institutional design and functional distribution as the route to restructure its foreign policy mechanism. The Lisbon reform reorganizes the foreign policy institutions, adjusts the functions, and reforms the foreign policy decision-making procedures.As for the institutional design of the EEAS. This dissertation argues that the restructured HR/VP is the legal basis for the establishment of the EEAS, and the latter enjoys a sui generis legal nature in addition to functional autonomy and legal capacity necessary to perform its tasks and attain its objective. Based upon a compromise reached in the Madrid Quadrologue, the institutional design of the EEAS followed a minimalist approach, which is reflected through its staff regulation, budget regulation and the institutional components.As for the function and mandate of the EEAS. With comparisons between the EEAS and the EU as well as its professional administrative departments respectively, we can assume the EEAS does not enjoy a completely independent legal personality, differs much from other professional departments in terms of legal status within the European Union, and has no legal status independent from the EU institutions such as the Commission, the Council or the European Parliament. In the process of foreign policy decision-making, the power and status of the EEAS are superior to those affiliated institutions and professional departments within the EU, but inferior to the EU institutions. The actual function and mandate of the EEAS are shaped by its dynamics with other actors in the EU foreign policy, such as the European Council and its president, the Commission and its President, the Council, the European Parliament, as well as the member states and their diplomatic services.This dissertation chooses the EU Crisis Response Capability and Development Aid and Cooperation policy as case studies to analyze the function of the EEAS and makes a preliminary assessment. It makes a review in regard to the impact upon the foreign policy integration resulting from the restructuring of the foreign policy mechanism since the Lisbon reform. This dissertation argues that, on one hand, the Lisbon reform has made much progress in terms of the Europeanization and Brusselization of the EU foreign policy integration since the function of the EEAS, but on the other, certain problems also emerge, such as:a variety of challenges in terms of institutional establishment, the coexistence of supranationalism and intergovernmentalism, shortfalls in coordination, its credibility problem on the international stage, and the combination of Europeanization and renationalization in its diplomacy.The creation of a European External Action Service, as the first diplomatic service of its kind for the EU as a supranational actor, represents a major step towards a new kind of diplomacy in the international arena. The launch of a European Union diplomatic service is akin to adding an important dimension to the dense networks that make up international society:a large supranational body that spans the globe and seeks to speak with one voice. From the perspective of history and International Relations theory, as well as the European integration theory, the advent of the EEAS is a major development with potentially tremendous implications for Europe as well as the world.However, the construction of such a large diplomatic service of a supranational actor is wholly unprecedented. It takes a long time to establish a diplomatic service which is capable of integrating the different areas of external actions and foreign policies. Only if the EEAS has effectively managed its internal organization and intra-institutional relations with other EU institutions and earned confidence from the EU member states, that the EEAS is capable of realizing the strategic aims of the Lisbon reform, which implies to strengthen the coherence, consistency and effectiveness of the EU external actions to facilitate the EU functioning as a capable and important international actor. Therefore, it’s too early and hasty to make a final review about the organization and function of the EEAS just according to its performance in the past one and a half years.The EU foreign policy integration is at the critical crossroad. If the EEAS can function effectively and enhance the coherence, consistency, and effectiveness of the European foreign policy, it is likely to dramatically change the vision of the European diplomacy, enhance the development of the European integration, and even bring about significant influences upon the international system. On the contrary, if the EEAS ends up as a complex bureaucratic institution, then this innovative experiment will turn into a tragedy.
Keywords/Search Tags:European Union, European External Action Service, Foreign Policy, High Representative, Integration
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