The European Union is an institution
that has seen major developments since its conception.  It has always been of interest to Member States
to discuss policies that allow the Union to move forward in cohesion. This has
been done through treaties which have lined out the EU’s purposes, set out the guidelines
of the EU’s institutions and how outcomes are taken. Throughout the years,
treaties have been amended to promote more efficiency and transparency seeing
changes such as The Treaty of Rome changing into The Maastricht Treaty, which
developed even further to the Lisbon Treaty. 1

 

The Treaty of Amsterdam created the
role of High Representative for Common Foreign and Security Policy.  Initially the role served as a more figurative
presence, with Javier Solana the Secretary General of the Council of the
European Union holding the post for ten years. His main duty involved portraying
the European Union on the centre stage and preparing reports on how the EU should
stand on diplomatic issues as stated by the Treaty, ” that the High
Representative for the common foreign and security policy, shall assist the
Council in matters coming within the scope of the common foreign and security
policy, in particular through contributing to the formulation, preparation and
implementation of policy decisions, and, when appropriate and acting on behalf
of the Council at the request of the Presidency, through conducting political
dialogue with third parties.”2

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The Lisbon Treaty gave the role a much
needed make over, increasing its importance and adding the role’s responsibilities.

The High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy
(CFSP) was made second in command to the President of the Commission by being
made Vice President increasing their value within the Commissioners. The
official was also made responsible in the Council for the EU’s common foreign
and defence policies and for coordinating the Commission’s external actions in
order to ensure affinity and solidarity. It means that the Lisbon Treaty merged
the duties previously done by the Commissioner for External Relations with that
of the High Representative of the CFSP retaining the role’s original duties. This
therefore, eliminated the position of Commissioner for External Relations with
all responsibilities falling over one spectrum. Additional responsibilities include
that the High Representative enlists proposals to develop policies under the
CSFP and follows through under the supervision of the Council ensuring that
proper implementation of the policy happens throughout.  The role also overseas the overall external
action plan the EU takes with regards to crises response, trade, and
development assistance.

 

The official occupying office will be
assisted by the European External Service, an organisation having its own
autonomy operating with its own budget and staff. It will aid the High
Representative to ensure cohesion and efficiency, prepare their own policy for approval
by the Council, assist other members of the Commission in areas relating to
external and diplomatic action and cooperation between Member States. Article
27 (3) TEU states the officiality of this organisation by stating “that this service shall work in
cooperation with the diplomatic services of the Member States and shall
comprise officials from relevant departments of the General Secretariat of the
Council and of the Commission as well as staff seconded from national
diplomatic services of the member states. The organisation and functioning of
the European External Action Service shall be established by a decision of the
Council. The Council shall act on a proposal from the High Representative after
consulting the European Parliament and after obtaining the consent of the
Commission.” 3

 

The Lisbon Treaty also reviewed the way
that the High Representative would be appointed. It was agreed that it would be
done through a qualified majority vote, with the agreement of the Commission
President and then approved by the European Parliament. In practice, it would
mean that the nominated Commissioner would require 55% of the vote to be
elected as High Representative. After Javier Solana held the post for 10 years,
the revamped role saw officials holding a mandate for 5 years, alike the rest
of the Commission. Baroness Catherine Ashton, a British politician held that
mandate. Currently, the role is being held by Federica Mogherini, an Italian
politician belonging to the Socialists and Democrats group.  

 

The role has grown considerably from
the Treaty of Amsterdam to what it is today thanks to the Lisbon Treaty. At a
lecture given at the University of Humbolt, Federica Mogherini said that, “she
believes we and our world need us, because we are indispensable for the power
we have, yes, but most of all for the way we use it.”4
She was referring to the way the European Union can help the world, especially our
neighbours into finding peace by building a good diplomatic defence and to
reassure the European Union with further deeper integration in our economic
policies and investments into European resources.

 

 

 

 

 

References

 

 

“EUR-Lex
Access to European Union law” (Treaties – EUR-Lex)
accessed
January 13, 2018

 

Eur-lex.europa.eu.

(2018). Glossary of summaries – EUR-Lex. online Available at:
http://eur-lex.europa.eu/summary/glossary/high_representative_cfsp.html
Accessed 13 Jan. 2018.

 

“EUR-Lex
Access to European Union law” (EUR-Lex – 11997D/TXT – EN – EUR-Lex)

accessed January 13, 2018

 

“EUR-Lex
Access to European Union law” (EUR-Lex – 12012M/TXT – EN – EUR-Lex)
accessed January 13, 2018

 

Europarl.europa.eu.

(2018). Foreign policy: aims, instruments and achievements | EU fact
sheets | European Parliament. online Available at:
http://www.europarl.europa.eu/aboutparliament/en/displayFtu.html?ftuId=FTU_5.1.1.html
Accessed 13 Jan. 2018.

 

Eur-lex.europa.eu.

(2018). EUR-Lex – ai0009 – EN – EUR-Lex. online Available at:
http://eur-lex.europa.eu/legal-content/EN/TXT/?uri=LEGISSUM:ai0009 Accessed 13
Jan. 2018.

 

General
Secretariat of the Council of the EU (2009). The High Representative
for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy/ The European External Action Service.

online Available at:
https://www.consilium.europa.eu/media/31133/background-highrepresentative_en.pdf
Accessed 13 Jan. 2018.

 

“Europe
needs vision and realism. The Willy Brandt Lecture 2016” (Federica MogheriniDecember
8, 2016)
accessed January 13, 2018

 

 

 

 

 

 

1
“EUR-Lex Access to European Union law” (Treaties – EUR-Lex)
accessed
January 13, 2018

 

2
“EUR-Lex Access to European Union law” (EUR-Lex – 11997D/TXT – EN – EUR-Lex)

accessed January 13, 2018

 

3
“EUR-Lex Access to European Union law” (EUR-Lex – 12012M/TXT – EN – EUR-Lex)

accessed January 13, 2018

 

4
“Europe needs vision and realism. The Willy Brandt Lecture 2016” (Federica
Mogherini December 8, 2016)
accessed January 13, 2018