The Role of the European Union and the Procedure of Conclusion of International Agreements After the Lisbon Treaty
Keywords:European Parliament inter-institutional conflict conclusion of international agreements, international negotiations, international representation of the European Unio, provisional application of treaties, soft law.
The Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (TFEU) in Article 218 includes all the institutions involved in the legislative decision-making of the Union, the Court of Justice and the High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy (HR). The article deals with all the different stages of the life of an international agreement – i.e. negotiations, signature, conclusion, some aspects of implementation, together with the suspension of treaty obligations undertaken by Europe. Article 218 TFEU sets out the general procedure that the European Union (EU) must follow when concluding international agreements with third countries and international organizations and will apply to all EU policies, while still maintaining an intergovernmental approach to the Common Foreign and Security Policy (CFSP). The EU's primary law, profoundly revised by the Treaty of Lisbon, reflects the EU's increasingly important and widespread activity as a treaty-maker. Article 218 TFEU makes an effort to promote and support a more transparent and democratic behavior of the EU's international relations, already providing important powers for the European Parliament in determining treaty instruments adopted by Europe.
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