EU Turf War in External Affairs

University essay from Lunds universitet/Statsvetenskapliga institutionen

Abstract: Abstract After the Lisbon treaty came into effect in 2009 the European Commission lost its position as the main representative of the European Union in external affairs to the High Representative of Foreign affairs and the newly established External Action Service. This thesis explores why the European Commission despite the new treaty has remained a major player in External Affairs. European Commission power retention is analysed through two multiple case studies. One exploring the function of the External Action Service and making a comparative analysis with the European Commission and another exploring the involvement of the European Commission in the policy areas directly linked to the external dimension of the Union. Historical institutionalism and role theory as well as a look on institutional overlap are employed to analyse the methods used by the European Commission to retain its position in External Affairs. This paper makes the conclusion that the European Commission has been successful in retaining power through a varied method of long-term policy development, multi-lateral frameworks of foreign policy negotiations, policy overlapping to maximise use of mandate and path dependency of expertise based legitimacy to create a policy legacy with other European Union institutions.

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