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World Diplomacy of the European Parliament

World Diplomacy of the European Parliament This article examines the role of the European Parliament in ensuring democratic participation in European Union external relations and global governance. Although the Lisbon Treaty has reinforced the European Parliament’s foreign affairs prerogatives, many obstacles hinder its influence. This prompts the European Parliament to invest considerable institutional resources not only to counterbalance the Commission and the Council and reduce information asymmetry, but also to enhance its posture on the world stage through value-oriented and region-oriented parliamentary diplomacy. The article argues that by conducting world diplomacy, the European Parliament generates critical mass for its institutional empowerment by a crafty application of its treaty rights, by means of non-legislative instruments, and by establishing bilateral and multilateral diplomatic contacts with parliamentary and executive bodies worldwide. The European Parliament thereby attempts to portray itself as an actor without which decisions cannot be made. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png The Hague Journal of Diplomacy Brill

World Diplomacy of the European Parliament

The Hague Journal of Diplomacy , Volume 11 (2-3): 121 – Mar 11, 2016

World Diplomacy of the European Parliament


* The author wishes to thank Christian Huber and Pietro Ducci from the European Parliament’s Directorate-General for External Policies for valuable first-hand information on the European Parliament’s democracy and election actions. The European Union in Global Affairs and the Democracy Conundrum It has become commonplace that the European Union ( eu ) has grown into an impactful actor in global affairs, a diplomatic conglomerate with sizeable influence on world diplomacy and on the laws and policies thus engendered. 1 The Union stands at the forefront of international efforts to tackle numerous global challenges such as climate change and terrorism; it is a full member of the World Trade Organization ( wto ), the Food and Agriculture Organization ( fao ) and the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development ( ebrd ), as well as an observer in many others; 2 it is the only non-state polity seeking accession to the European Convention on Human Rights; 3 and it asserts its autonomy against the United Nations ( un ) to the level of ‘direct confrontation’ with it, 4 to name but a few examples of its legal and political stature in the global realm. Just as in domestic legal orders, the conduct of external relations in the eu is the province of institutions that are structurally or functionally executive in nature — the Council, 5 the Commission and the European Council. 6 The multi-hatted High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy ( hr / vp ), who is ex officio Vice-President of the Commission and presides over the Foreign Affairs Council and the European External Action Service ( eeas ), provides a solution to Henry Kissinger’s notorious but apocryphal request for one single ‘telephone number’ to be dialled to call Europe. 7 However, as Smith argues, while the eu ’s global influence is well rooted in its economic power, civilian power, ethical power, power of attraction, as well as...
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Publisher
Brill
Copyright
© Koninklijke Brill NV, Leiden, The Netherlands
ISSN
1871-1901
eISSN
1871-191X
DOI
10.1163/1871191X-12341330
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

This article examines the role of the European Parliament in ensuring democratic participation in European Union external relations and global governance. Although the Lisbon Treaty has reinforced the European Parliament’s foreign affairs prerogatives, many obstacles hinder its influence. This prompts the European Parliament to invest considerable institutional resources not only to counterbalance the Commission and the Council and reduce information asymmetry, but also to enhance its posture on the world stage through value-oriented and region-oriented parliamentary diplomacy. The article argues that by conducting world diplomacy, the European Parliament generates critical mass for its institutional empowerment by a crafty application of its treaty rights, by means of non-legislative instruments, and by establishing bilateral and multilateral diplomatic contacts with parliamentary and executive bodies worldwide. The European Parliament thereby attempts to portray itself as an actor without which decisions cannot be made.

Journal

The Hague Journal of DiplomacyBrill

Published: Mar 11, 2016

Keywords: European Parliament; eu external action; values; regions; democracy; global governance; parliamentary diplomacy; foreign policy

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