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Can the EU Replace its Member States in International Affairs? An International Law Perspective

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Chapter Summary

From the outset, Member States have been willing (or were forced.) to transfer competences to the Community and later the Union. The Lisbon Treaty, however, seems to herald a new phase in which not only EU law itself, but also international law may be faced with new challenges. This chapter views the developments of the EU external relations law from the angle of public international law. It focuses on a few key areas in which the EU comes within the scope of what traditionally would be regarded as state functions and competences: the international legal status of the EU, international representation, and the EU as a diplomatic actor. Given the dynamic nature of the development of the 'international actorness' of the Union, the chapter produces a research agenda, rather than final conclusions.

Keywords: EU external relations law; international law; Lisbon Treaty



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