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External relations is currently among the most dynamic areas of EU law, its institutional structures profoundly affected by the Lisbon Treaty. This volume gathers leading analysts to assess core recent developments in the field, taking stock of the current law and potential developments in major policy areas.
The volume opens with an assessment of a central concept at the heart of EU external relations, underpinning its international identity. Christophe Hillion analyses the legal principles which ensure coherence between different strands of the EU's external activity, and the contribution of law to the consistency of the EU's international presence. Frank Hoffmeister turns the focus outwards to the interaction between the EU and the international legal order - the legal basis for the EU's activity in shaping international law and the EU's contribution to 'state practice'.
These opening chapters develop a picture of the EU's active international participation as well as the characteristic structural complexity of its external relations, and against this background the remainder of the book examines key policy areas of EU external action. Lorand Bartels analyses the relationship between trade policy and development; Markus Krajewski discusses trade in services and the link between external and internal policy issues; and Nathalie Tocci assesses the EU's contribution to conflict resolution, an important focus of the Common Foreign and Security Policy. The complex policy picture that emerges from the different goals, values and instruments across these areas is examined in the book's final chapter which focuses on the European Neighbourhood Policy, frequently proclaimed as a strategic priority for the EU.
Together, the essays present a clear picture of the complex development of EU external relations, of the struggle for coherence in the increasingly active, visible and self-conscious role played by the EU as a participant in the international legal order.