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European Constitutional Law

European Constitutional Law (3rd edn)

Robert Schütze
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date: 29 May 2024

p. 2698. External Powers

Competences and Procedureslocked

p. 2698. External Powers

Competences and Procedureslocked

  • Robert Schütze


This chapter explores the external competences and procedures of the European Union. Sadly, the Union here suffers from a ‘split personality’ because it has a split constitutional regime for foreign affairs. It has a general competence for its ‘Common Foreign and Security Policy’ (CFSP) within the TEU; and it enjoys various specific external powers within the TFEU. The chapter analyses each of these competences and their respective nature. It then looks at the procedural dimension of the external relations of the Union. How will the Union act, and which institutions need to cooperate for it to act? This depends on which of the two constitutional regimes applies. While the CFSP is still characterized by an ‘executive’ dominance, the procedures within the Union’s special external powers are closer to the ‘legislative’ branch. Finally, the chapter considers two constitutional safeguards regulating the exercise of shared external competences: mixed agreements and the duty of loyal cooperation.

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