The Sui Generis Nature of External Competences

  • Annegret Engel


External relations and the respective competences have in the past been divided and distributed over three pillars, which informally continues to be the case in the post-Lisbon era: Despite the integration of the former third pillar into the realm of supranational EU law, the field of external relations is still governed by supranational and intergovernmental provisions at once. On the one hand, the Union is equipped with supranational powers to regulate in the external relations sphere. On the other hand, the area of common foreign and security policy has been established which grants Member States competences in external relations. Despite the codification of different types of competence by the Lisbon Treaty, institutional practices continue to blur the lines in the quest for the correct choice of legal basis. As a result, legal basis litigation in this area may easily receive a cross-pillar dimension, particularly since international agreements rarely fall within one policy area only.


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© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Annegret Engel
    • 1
  1. 1.Cardiff UniversityCardiffUK

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