chapter  4
26 Pages

External unity, institutional complexity and structural fragmentation

The evolution of EU external competence in the AFSJ
WithMarise Cremona

This chapter begins by considering the impact on external competence of the institutional complexity of the Area of Freedom, Security and Justice (AFSJ) as an external policy field, its external objectives and its relations with other external policies. It examines the ways in which the European Union’s (EU) normative values may be incorporated into external action and thereby govern the EU’s relations with third countries. The chapter explains another aspect of complexity and fragmentation which poses challenges for the EU’s external unity: the relation between Union and Member State competences in this field. The complexity of EU external competence in the AFSJ as it emerged in the post-Maastricht Pillar structure and the consequent institutional complexity has led to structural fragmentation, the effects of which still persist notwithstanding the process of gradual integration of the Pillars in subsequent Treaty reforms.