Conclusion: Various and flexible forms of governance beyond the State
This conclusion presents some closing thoughts on the concepts covered in the preceding chapters of this book. The book presents an account the European Union’s (EU) external action in relation to third States or international actors/organisations. It addresses the overarching question of the supranational dimension of the EU within the wider pan-European architecture and explores how sovereignty is reconfigured in the fragmented and complex EU polity. The book provides a general reflection on the interplay between the internal and external impact of supranational law. It highlights its strengths whilst underlining its limits – especially in terms of legitimacy – and focuses on a possible inherent paradox. The book also focuses on the tension between unity and fragmentation in the evolution of the EU’s external relations in the field from the Maastricht Treaty to the Lisbon Treaty. It investigates an often-overlooked policy sector within the broader Common Agricultural Policy, namely rural development.