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The High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy from 2009 till 2014 : The examination of the renewed High Representative after the Treaty of Lisbon

MEINEN, B. (2015) The High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy from 2009 till 2014 : The examination of the renewed High Representative after the Treaty of Lisbon.

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Abstract:The Treaty of Lisbon entered in force in 2009. This treaty had to make the European Union (EU) stronger as a political and military global actor. It had to tackle its shortcomings as a global actor. The EU had the goal of improve the capacity of the EU institutional framework in order to shape globalization in the interest of all citizens. One of changes in the Treaty of Lisbon was the renewed role of the High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy (High Representative). The High Representative was altered with more competences and responsibilities. Catherine Ashton was chosen to be the first High Representative after the Treaty of Lisbon. To examine the effect of the renewed High Representative on the EU external action in the world, this research evaluates Ashton as High Representative in her first and only office term in the period of December 2009 till November 2014. The ‘Role Theory’ is supportive in this research, to examine the correlation between the performances of the High Representative and Ashton role conception. The following research question is examined in this research: Given the new ambitions of the EU as a global actor and the requirements of consistency in EU external relations, to what extent did the changes in the function of the High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy contribute to meeting these requirements? The basic structure of this research is a qualitative program evaluation. It consists of the following steps: Establishing criteria, constructing standards, measuring performance and comparing standards, synthesizing and integrating evidence into a judgement of worth and making recommendations. The standards of the High Representative consists of the objectives and the competences and responsibilities. The objectives of the High Representative Ashton were after the Lisbon Treaty: 1. Ensuring the consistency of the Union’s external action; 2. Giving the EU a clear voice regarding its relations with partners in the world; 3. Had the responsibility for external relations in the Commission; 4. And mandated by the Council in order of conducting the Common Foreign and Security Policy (CFSP). The main responsibilities of High Representative Ashton were as mentioned in article 18 Treaty of the European Union (TEU): Conducting the Union’s CFSP and also the Common Security and Defence Policy (CSDP). Ashton had the job of doing this by making proposals to the development of the CFSP and implement those proposals as mandated by the Council (article 18 (2) TEU and 2 of the EEAS Decision; Presided over the Foreign Affairs Council (FAC); Vice-President of the Commission: with the tasks of ensuring the consistency of the Union’s external action and was responsible for the external relations and other relevant portfolios and representing the EU concerning the CFSP. The main competences of High Representative Ashton were: An active chair in the Council (article 27 TEU) meaning the power of submitting initiatives / proposals, giving opinions and consultations; The right of initiative of making proposals within the CFSP, it includes the negotiation of new agreements (article 218 TFEU); The right of initiative of making initiatives under CSDP (article 42 paragraph 3 TEU); Power of submitting joint proposals together with the Commission (article 22 paragraph 2 TEU); Power of addressing / submitting questions regarding the CFSP to the Council (article 30 TEU); Right of not proposing Council decisions that are only part of the CFSP (article 42 paragraph 2 TEU); as Chairwoman of the FAC (article 18(3) TEU) she had the right of initiative in the FAC and the power of shaping the EU’s agenda in international affairs; and she had the authority over the Union delegations in international organizations and third nations and conduct political dialogue, but cannot carry out negotiations and 4 | P a g e representational functions by herself in non-MS and international organizations (article 27 TEU and 188 TFEU). The performance of Ashton as High Representative have been received with mixed feelings. Ashton was during her period as High Representative mostly criticized but on occasion she was praised for her appearance. She was mainly praised for her performance as international mediator in the cases of Serbia-Kosovo and Iran. She was criticized about her lack of leadership, bad appearances, bad choices, lack of strategy, her work in the Commission and the EEAS. Ashton was able to build the EEAS in a year. She had a good relationship with the EP. She made the FAC meetings more proactive and responsive. Was one of the reasons that the EU made name as an international mediator. Made efforts improving crisis management and the institutional coherence of the EU foreign affairs. However, there were no big breakthroughs. In her office term, Ashton had some bad appearances and – choices, she lacked leadership as High Representative and as leader of the EEAS, lacked in developing an overall strategy supporting the EU foreign policy, there was no single representation and Ashton did not performed well in the Commission due to the difficult relationship with Barroso. However, the performance of High Representative Ashton was negatively influenced by the behaviour of the Member States (MS). They interfered with the representation of Ashton and were not ready to share their legitimacy powers with the High Representative. The contribution of this research is the confirmation that the renewed role contributed very little in making the EU a stronger global actor by improving the consistency in EU external relations. The High Representative was very dependent on the MS. The decision-making powers remained in the hands of the MS. The High Representative was able to make statements, initiatives and was present in several meetings, but she was not able to make changes in the institutional structure of the EU. The national identity won over the European identity. The Treaty of Lisbon provided too much room for MS action. The MS tried to give the EU institutions, including the High Representative, more competences but they did not wanted to lose their own competences in the process.
Item Type:Essay (Bachelor)
University of Münster, Münster, Germany
Faculty:BMS: Behavioural, Management and Social Sciences
Subject:89 political science
Programme:European Studies BSc (56627)
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