Resisting the European External Action Service

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Series Details Vol.20, Issue 2/1, August 2015, p21–37
Publication Date August 2015
ISSN 1384-6299
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The article joins the discussion on the resistance to norms in Common Foreign and Security Policy (CFSP) by focusing on the European External Action Service (EEAS). It begins by defining the norms that are associated with the EEAS as: (1) close cooperation by the Member States with the EEAS, (2) sharing information and (3) abstaining from influencing staff of one’s own nationality and Seconded National Experts (SNEs) along one’s own national interests. Then, the authors continue by analysing the types of resistance and explaining why the Member States choose to resist the norms related to the organization they had previously created with a unanimous decision. The article concludes that even if soft rules may at first seem to be less costly than hard laws, their less constraining nature does not automatically imply less resistance. All three types of instruments identified by Saurugger and Terpan in the introduction1 have been used for resistance with information and communication being the most commonly employed. Cognitive distance between the European and national level seem to have stronger explanatory value than the financial and social resources of Member States.

This article is part of a Special Issue of the European Foreign Affairs Review.

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