The European Union in International Organisations and Global Governance: Recent Developments pages:45-74
The Lisbon Treaty emphasizes the EU’s commitment to multilateralism, stating that it ‘shall seek to develop relations and build partnerships with [...] international, regional or global organisations’ and to ‘promote multilateral solutions to common problems, in particular in the framework of the United Nations’ (Article 21(1), second para., TEU). One of its key goals in external relations is ‘to support and work for effective multilateralism, with the United Nations at its core’. However these global ambitions are often not matched by the level of participation and representation that the EU enjoys in the UN and the UN system. This contribution examines some of the legal and political issues that are at play as the EU attempts to enhance its cooperation with and representation in the UN and the UN system. It examines these issues with regard to UN bodies that have been identified as targets for closer co-operation and others where the EU could potentially pursue upgraded status. It analyses both the EU’s participation in the respective fora and the legal and political potential for improving the Union’s status. The EU not only remains faced with a series of internal and external obstacles as a participant within the UN and the UN system, barring it from taking up its leading role at the global level – it currently also lacks a convincing strategy to overcome them.