During the last two decades the study of European foreign policy has experienced remarkable growth, presumably reflecting a more significant international role of the European Union. The Union has significantly expanded its policy portfolio and though empty symbolic politics still exists, the Union’s international relations have become more substantial and its foreign policy more focused. European foreign policy has become a dynamic policy area, being adapted to changing challenges and environments, such as the Arab Spring, new emerging economies/powers; the crisis of multilateralism and much more. The SAGE Handbook of European Foreign Policy, Two-Volume set, is a major reference work for Foreign Policy Programmes around the world. The Handbook is designed to be accessible to graduate and postgraduate students in a wide variety of disciplines across the humanities and social sciences. Both volumes are structured to address areas of critical concern to scholars at the cutting edge of all major dimensions of foreign policy. The volumes are composed of original chapters written specifically to the following themes: • Research traditions and historical experience • Theoretical perspectives• EU actors• State actors• Societal actors• The politics of European foreign policy• Bilateral relations• Relations with multilateral institutions• Individual policies• Transnational challenges The Handbook will be an essential reference for both advanced students and scholars.

The Legal Dimension of European Foreign Policy

The legal dimension of European foreign policy
Ramses A. Wessel


European foreign policy is mostly studied from a political perspective. This is not surprising, given the fact that this policy area was not part of the original European Community treaty and was developed on the basis of political documents only. At the time of the creation of the EU and its Common Foreign and Security Policy (CFSP) in the 1993 Maastricht Treaty legal rules were laid down and started to form the framework for European foreign policy. Yet the legal dimension of the EU's foreign policy – characterized by questions on legal competences (who can or should do what?) and the legal nature ...

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