David Rijks

Address: Hughes Hall
Mortimer Road
Cambridge CB1 2EW
United Kingdom
E-Mail: ddfr2@cam.ac.uk


Beyond the Pillars: Diplomatic Representation of EU External Relations in Third Countries

A European diplomacy in its own right is emerging gradually and this research project is an analytical attempt to understand the system of European diplomatic representation in the context of cross-pillar policies. Cross-pillar policies typically involve instruments of representation from both the second and first pillar, and the question imposes itself how these historically distinct regimes are reconciled on the ground in the absence of uniform guidelines. Does the way in which coherence is achieved have an impact on the roles that member states, the Commission, and, increasingly, the Council play in the representation of the EU? The underlying research question guiding this study can thus be formulated as follows: How does the promotion of coherence in the external representation of policies in the grey area between the first and second pillar affect the division of roles between member states, the European Commission, and the Council in the field of diplomatic representation of the EU’s external activities? In addition, this study will address the anticipation of a European diplomatic service. Questions about the design, tasks and composition of the European External Action Service (EEAS) are extremely relevant. Other questions relate to the role of the High Representative for the CSFP, whose frequent meetings with a wide variety of foreign interlocutors seem to be evidence of an increasingly independent role in external representation. Finally, the latest rounds of enlargements raise the question how the new member states have responded to the opportunities and responsibilities of the EU system of representation, and how they, in turn, have helped shape the system of European diplomacy. This project departs from the continuing tension between enhancing coherence between these dimensions (and thus the effectiveness of the EU’s external relations) on the one hand, while on the other hand preserving where possible the intergovernmental nature of foreign policy and diplomacy. The increasing importance of cross-pillar linkages raises the importance of the former objective considerably. The analysis of the effects of cross-pillarisation takes a historical institutionalist perspective, focusing on specific politico-legal aspects of cross-pillar policies and the constraints and opportunities for the different actors in the system. This study connects the literature on cross-pillar policies in EU external relations (and specifically coherence between them), to the literature on European diplomacy.





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