EXTERNAL REPRESENTATION OF THE EUROPEAN UNION AND SHARED COMPETENCES – AN UNSOLVED PUZZLE
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Following the entry into force of the Treaty of Lisbon, the issue of the exter¬nal representation of the European Union has been high on the agenda of all subse¬quent EU rotating Presidencies, including the Polish Presidency. The new legal framework created by the TEU and TFEU has an important impact on the practice of external representation, giving rise to continuous interpretative questions as regards the division of powers between the EU and the Member States. These issues may be linked to three main aspects of the EU’s presence in international relations: participation in the negotiations of international agreements; representation of the EU at international organisations; and bilateral relations between the EU and third countries. This paper focuses on the practical aspects and exercise of external repre¬sentation in matters of shared competences, presenting cases that took place during the second half of the year 2011 (and in the period directly preceding Polish Presi¬dency), in which the discrepancies in the approach of the Member States and the rotating Presidency on the one hand, and the European Commission and High Rep¬resentative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy (supported by the European Exter¬nal Action Service) on the other were highly visible. Possible scenarios for future developments in the area of EU external representation are also presented.
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