The Role of EU Institutions in the Design of EU Foreign and Security Policies
Member states are the formal initiators and decision-makers in the EU Common Foreign and Security Policy (CFSP). As EU institutions, the EEAS and the Commission prepare and implement member state decisions, while the European Parliament has the right to be informed and can give opinions and advice. Yet, a growing number of studies suggest that the de facto role and influence of the EU institutions in policy-making processes falling under the CFSP procedures differ substantially from this formal description. This chapter systematically explores the influence of EU institutions on the CFSP, by discussing first the treaty-based organization of the CFSP, before turning to how the Parliament’s and the Commission’s influence differ from this formal description. We also discuss their various forms of interaction with the HR/VP and the EEAS, focusing particularly on if and how such interactions have been used as avenues to influence CFSP developments or affect their institutional powers. The chapter thus assembles evidence that the member states’ veto powers in the domain have clearly become limited owing to the de facto powers of the Commission – powers that it to a large degree has taken on itself, over time – as well as the cooperation between the EEAS and the Commission. Although the Parliament has significantly fewer formal competencies in CFSP than the Commission, the EP has generously interpreted its statutory formal powers, for example, in budgeting and treaty assent, to extend its role in CFSP.