Saturday, 19 January 2008

EU Treaty of Lisbon: CFSP special representative

The Treaty of Amsterdam gave the European Union an important common foreign and security policy tool: the special representative. The EU has been able to appoint special representatives with a mandate to act on behalf of the Union ‘on the ground’. The special representatives have been appointed by the Council, especially to trouble spots where the EU strives to achieve peace and stability.

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In the Treaty of Lisbon (OJ 17.12.2007 C 306/29) the intergovernmental conference (IGC 2007) decided to amend the Treaty on European Union (TEU) in the following manner:

36) The text of Article 17 shall become Article 28 A, it shall be amended as set out below in point 49.

37) Article 18 shall be amended as follows:

(a) paragraphs 1 to 4 shall be deleted;

(b) in paragraph 5, which shall not be numbered, the words "whenever it deems it necessary," shall be replaced by "on a proposal from the High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy" and the following sentence shall be added at the end: "The special representative shall carry out his mandate under the authority of the High Representative.".

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In the existing Article 18 TEU (latest consolidated version OJ 29.12.2006/17 and 18) the first four paragraphs, which concern the rotating Presidency to be abolished by the High Representative as chair of the Foreign Affairs Council, are deleted, so there is no need to set them out here. Article 18(5) reads as follows:

“5. The Council may, whenever it deems it necessary, appoint a special representative with a mandate in relation to particular policy issues.”

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As a consequence, the new consolidated Article 18 TEU should look like this:

Article 18

The Council may, on a proposal from the High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, appoint a special representative with a mandate in relation to particular policy issues. The special representative shall carry out his mandate under the authority of the High Representative.

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The Convention, led by ValĂ©ry Giscard d’Estaing, proposed in the draft Treaty establishing a Constitution for Europe Article III-203 (OJ 18.7.2003 C 169/67) that the appointment should take place on the initiative of the Union Minister for Foreign Affairs and carry out his or her mandate under the authority of the same Minister.

In essence, this provision was taken over in the Treaty establishing a Constitution for Europe, as Article III-302.

The Reform Treaty retains the substance of the Constitutional Treaty, but the ‘Union Minister for Foreign Affairs’ has been renamed the ‘High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy’, as elsewhere in the Lisbon Treaty.

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Here are a few fresh examples of Council decisions concerning EU special representatives. As we see, the mandates have been in the form of joint actions:

Council Joint Action 2007/809/CFSP of 6 December 2007 amending Joint Action 2007/108/CFSP extending the mandate of the European Union Special Representative for Sudan

Council Joint Action 2007/805/CFSP of 6 December 2007 appointing a European Union Special Representative to the African Union

Council Joint Action 2007/748/CFSP of 19 November 2007 amending Joint Action 2007/87/CFSP amending and extending the mandate of the European Union Special Representative in Bosnia and Herzegovina

Council Joint Action 2007/744/CFSP of 19 November 2007 amending and extending Joint Action 2006/623/CFSP on the establishment of an EU team to contribute to the preparations of the establishment of a possible International Civilian Office in Kosovo, including a European Union Special Representative component (ICO/EUSR Preparation Team)

Council Joint Action 2007/732/CFSP of 13 November 2007 amending Joint Action 2007/106/CFSP extending the mandate of the Special Representative of the European Union for Afghanistan

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Coordination in international organisations and at international conferences will be next.


Ralf Grahn


P.S. Do you understand why the amended Article 18 TEU was not written clearly by the IGC 2007?