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Consistency as an Issue in EU External Activities. EIPA Working Paper 99/W/06

Duke, Simon (1999) Consistency as an Issue in EU External Activities. EIPA Working Paper 99/W/06. [Working Paper]

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    [From the Introduction]. The European Community (EC) was initially only competent in the area of trade and gradually developed a common commercial policy. The 1970s onwards saw increasing foreign policy co-operation in the framework of European Political Co-operation (EPC). Over the next two decades the increasing number of external activities of the Union highlighted the need for consistency between the EC’s external competencies conducted in the context of the first pillar and the intergovernmental ones of the second pillar and, to an growing extent, the third pillar. By the late 1990s the European Union (EU) accounted for a greater percentage of global gross national product than the U.S. and Japan. The EU also contributes more to the UN budget and peacekeeping operations than either the U.S. or Japan. Given the enormous importance of the EU as a global actor and its potential to play an even more influential role, it is not difficult to see why concerns of consistency in the EU’s external activities are legitimate. Consistency has become something of a refrain. Most recently the consolidated Treaty on European Union (CTEU) states that, 'The Union shall be served by a single institutional framework which shall ensure the consistency and the continuity of the activities carried out in order to attain its objectives while respecting and building upon the acquis communautaire.' [CTEU, 1997, Article 3] To this end, it is to the Union generally that the task of ensuring 'consistency in its external activities as a whole in the context of external relations, security, economic and development policies' falls. The Council and Commission are though charged with particular responsibility in this regard. The objective of achieving consistency in the Union’s external activities is to ensure that the Union can 'assert its identity on the international scheme.' [CTEU, 1997, Article 2] In support of the general theme of consistency the European Council identified the aim of the Common Foreign and Security Policy (CFSP) as being to enable the Union to speak with one voice. The same theme is returned to within the CFSP mechanisms, both directly but also indirectly through reference to 'common positions,' 'joint decisions,' 'joint actions,' and, most recently, 'common strategies.'

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    Item Type: Working Paper
    Subjects for non-EU documents: EU policies and themes > External relations > common foreign & security policy 1993--European Global Strategy
    EU policies and themes > External relations > foreign/security policy 1950s-1992 (includes EPC)
    EU policies and themes > EU institutions & developments > institutional development/policy > historical development of EC (pre-1986)
    Subjects for EU documents: UNSPECIFIED
    EU Series and Periodicals: UNSPECIFIED
    EU Annual Reports: UNSPECIFIED
    Series: Series > European Institute of Public Adminstration (Maastricht) > Working Papers
    Depositing User: Phil Wilkin
    Official EU Document: No
    Language: English
    Date Deposited: 13 May 2003
    Page Range: p. 39
    Last Modified: 15 Feb 2011 17:15

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