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23 Jun 2008

The Institutional Architecture of CFSP after the Lisbon Treaty

Constitutional breakthrough or challenges ahead?

Wolfgang Wessels / Franziska Bopp

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CHALLENGE Research Paper No. 10 / 39 pages

This paper analyses the impact of the Lisbon Treaty on the institutional architecture of CFSP and the overall external action of the Union. The Lisbon Treaty has introduced some remarkable changes which might substantially influence the (inter-)institutional balance in this policy field. The authors offer two different possible readings of the CFSP provisions of the Lisbon Treaty: they could be interpreted as a major step forward in the direction of a strengthened, more coherent and more effective international actor with more supranational elements; but they may also be seen as demonstrating an ever-refined mode of ‘rationalised intergovernmentalism’. After an in-depth analysis of the ideas and norms contained in the new treaty, the institutions and the instruments, the authors find more evidence for the second interpretation, but also traces for a ‘ratched fusion’ as a third alternative explanation.

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