chapter  4
The practices of post- Lisbon diplomacy
Pages 13

The practices of post-Lisbon diplomacy The end of the Cold War and the rapidly changing geopolitical (and geoeconomic) constellations led to demands for more coherence, effectiveness and visibility for the Union’s external actions. The Constitutional Treaty and, following its demise, the Lisbon Treaty represents a legal and institutional response to these three themes. On the former, the attribution of legal personality to the EU (Treaty on European Union, Art. 47) would have several profound implications. One of the most important concerned the delegations which now became delegations of the European Union, representing the interests of all aspects of external action, including the foreign and security policy dimensions represented by CFSP. This marked a fundamental shift in the notion of EU-level diplomacy away from a rather techno cratic approach, centred on the administration and disbursal of complex funding instruments overseas, to one that was inherently more political in nature and one that would demand different skills and competences from officials. In terms of the institutional aspects, the most obvious adaptation was the merging of the pre-Lisbon positions of the High Representative for CFSP, the Commissioner for External Relations, and the chair of the General Affairs and External Relations Council. The new position was somewhat ponderously entitled the High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy and Vice-President of the Commission (henceforth HR/VP). The intention of the Convention was that the HR/VP should act in a bridging role between the supranational and intergovernmental aspects of EU external relations, supported by the European External Action Service (EEAS) as a putative corps diplomatique in the making. The Service was charged with working

in cooperation with the diplomatic services of the Member States and shall comprise officials from relevant departments of the General Secretariat of

the Council and of the Commission as well as staff seconded from national diplomatic services of the Member States.