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Providing for European-Level Diplomacy after Lisbon: The Case of the European External Action Service

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The Lisbon Treaty may well be on ice, may perhaps even be moribund, but there remain compelling reasons to think through the identified shortcomings of the European Union in external relations. Many of the innovations in the area of external relations that are contained in the treaty are dependent upon ratification by the EU's member states, but some are not; the European External Action Service (EEAS) falls into the latter category. Although the actual implementation of the EEAS will face formidable hurdles, as has been outlined in this contribution, the exercise of thinking through these challenges is essential if the EU and its members are to begin grappling with many of the issues examined in this special issue — ranging from the role of national diplomats in today's world to the successful pursuit of structural diplomacy and the effectiveness of the EU in multilateral organizations.

Affiliations: 1: European Institute of Public Administration, PO Box 1229, 6201 BE Maastricht, The Netherlands;, Email:


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