Constitutional Law of the EU’s Common Foreign and Security Policy: Competence and Institutions in External Relations

Dr. Graham Butler, Associate Professor of Law, Aarhus University, Denmark.

Hart Publishing (imprint of Bloomsbury), Oxford, 2019.

ISBN: 978-1-50992-594-0 (9781509925940). 

The Common Foreign and Security Policy (CFSP) of the European Union is a highly exceptional component of the EU legal order. This constitutionalised foreign policy regime, with legal, diplomatic and political DNA woven throughout its fabric, is a distinct sub-system of law on the outer-most sphere of European supranationalism. Of prime concern in EU external relations is the question of ‘who decides?’ When contrasted against other EU policies, it is immediately clear that it is special, especially when reflected in the level of institutional involvement. Legal tensions therefore exist, as institutional competences differ in terms of substance, decision-making, procedures, and justiciability.

With the legal framework of EU external relations increasingly coming under the spotlight, this book sheds new light on the legal shape of CFSP, analysing and debating the parliamentary and judicial branches of the Union in the legal regime of EU foreign policy. It engages with legal themes of foreign affairs exceptionalism, executive prerogatives, parliamentary accountability, and the scope of constitutionalisation of European integration. Through discursive analysis, Butler sets out the constitutional dimension of the EU’s foreign policy through a legal lens, and reveals that the legal framework for EU foreign affairs must adapt in a changing global environment, catering for a more assertive Europe in the wider world.


Coming soon.

To be published September 2019.