The Common Foreign and Security Policy of the European Union: A Stress Ratio between Intergovernmentalism and Supranationalism


Heiko Ital

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This paper examines the antagonism associated with the Common Foreign and Security Policy (CFSP) of the European Union (EU) in terms of intergovernmentalism and supranationalism before and after the Treaty of Lisbon. The paper demonstrates the dilemma over vertical and horizontal incoherence by analyzing various sources and documents of the EU, where only the full communitarization of the CFSP may solve the problem. Furthermore, the paper addresses the divergence of political views between the member states, which cannot be overcome only by institutional reforms. This paper not only provides the political and historical background before and after the Treaty of Lisbon but also addresses the dire necessity for European military capability or even a united European force to back up the common foreign policy of the EU, which would solve the dilemma of vertical and horizontal incoherence between the CFSP and the member states.


 I. Introduction
 II. CFSP before Lisbon
  1. Structures of the EU’s external affairs and economic interrelations
  2. The CFSP after Maastricht and problems of the EU’s external affairs
  3. Horizontal and vertical coherence
  4. External perceptions and improvements after Amsterdam and Nice
 III. CFSP after Lisbon
  1. The CFSP after Lisbon – two points of view
  2. Visions and missions of the EU‘s external actions – “Article 3”(ex Article 2 TEU) and“Article 21”
  3. Provisions on the Common Security and DefensePolicy –“Article42”
  4. Legal instruments and the new institutional architecture of the CFSP
 IV. Conclusion


  • Heiko Ital The author is a full-time lecturer in the Department of German Interpretation and Translation at Hankuk University of Foreign Studies for German and Politics & History.


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