Politics and International Relations Working Paper vol:10 pages:24-32
EU foreign policy is characterised by its milti-pillar, multi-level and multi-location nature. The complex distribution of competences both horizontally, between community and the Common Foreign and Security Policy (CFSP), and vertically, between the EU and the Member States, and, consequently, the dispersed resources, capabilities and diverging interests and priorities, lead to the need for intensive coordination and adequate flexibility mechanisms. However, the current institutional set-up of EU foreign policy does not provide satisfying coordination and flexibility mechanisms. The objective of this paper is to examine whether and how the changes in the Treaty of Lisbon offer an opportunity to overcome the current institutional weaknesses, meeting the need for more coordination and flexibility in the making and implementation of EU foreign policy. The central argument is that the Treaty of Lisbon provides a window of opportunity to strengthen coordination and allow for more flexibility. This is done by reinforcing the role of the common actors, strengthening the common European perspective, as well as the position of the member states.