EU Constitution Factsheet: External Action

By Union, European | Hampton Roads International Security Quarterly, July 15, 2005 | Go to article overview

EU Constitution Factsheet: External Action


Union, European, Hampton Roads International Security Quarterly


INTRODUCTION

In the European Constitution, the provisions on the external action of the European Union (EU) have been substantially rewritten, making significant amendments and introducing new provisions to enhance the current set-up and strengthen the effectiveness and visibility of the Union's action in the international arena.

The Union is accorded international legal personality (Article I- 7), taking over the rights and obligations of the European Community and the Union in their current form. The discarding of the pillar structure in the field of foreign policy is one of the linchpins of the Constitutional Treaty. The provisions relating to the external action of the Union are grouped together under a single title covering all aspects of that action:

the common foreign and security policy (CFSP);

the common security and defence policy;

the common commercial policy;

development cooperation policy;

economic, financial and technical cooperation with third countries;

humanitarian aid;

international agreements;

relations with international organizations;

and implementation of the solidarity clause.

At the institutional level, the Constitution introduces two important innovations. First, it creates the post of Minister for Foreign Affairs . The incumbent will conduct and implement the CFSP on behalf of the European Council and be one of the Vice-Presidents of the European Commission . In the latter capacity, he or she will be responsible for handling external relations and for coordinating other aspects of the Union's external action. Secondly, the Constitution provides for the creation of a President of the European Council who shall, amongst other things, ensure at his or her level the external representation of the Union on issues concerning the CFSP, without prejudice to the responsibilities of the Minister for Foreign Affairs.

Article III-292 of the Constitutional Treaty lays down the detailed objectives of the Union's external action. In the pursuit of these objectives, the Council of Ministers and the Commission, assisted by the Minister for Foreign Affairs, will ensure consistency between the different areas of its external action and between these and its other policies. This factsheet covers the main amendments made by the Constitutional Treaty in the field of Union external action. Amendments to the common foreign and security policy and defence policy are covered in two separate factsheets.

THE COMMON COMMERCIAL POLICY

Article I-13 of the Constitution clearly accords the Union exclusive competence for the common commercial policy. The common commercial policy is extended to foreign direct investment (Article III-315). However, agreements in the field of transport remain outside the scope of the common commercial policy. The Constitution provides for the common commercial policy to be implemented through European laws.

In terms of decision-making, the provisions of the current Article 133 of the Treaty establishing the European Community (EC Treaty) are simplified. However, qualified majority voting is not extended to all aspects of the common commercial policy. In fact, the Constitution retains the principle of parallelism between internal and external rules established at Nice. According to this principle, decisions relating to the negotiation and conclusion of agreements in the areas of trade in services, commercial aspects of intellectual property and direct foreign investment are subject to unanimity when these agreements contain provisions for which unanimity is required for the adoption of internal rules. The Constitution also provides for unanimity for agreements in the field of trade in cultural and audiovisual services, where there is a risk that they could prejudice the Union's cultural and linguistic diversity.

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

EU Constitution Factsheet: External Action
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.