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The system of EU external relations operates through a complex web of interactions between the European Community, the Member States and the Union acting on the bases of Titles V and VI of the TEU. The book seeks to illuminate the general functioning and evolution of that system by examining the development of the EU Partnerships with the Russian Federation and Ukraine. These Partnerships typify the dialectic between division of competence and quest for coherence, which lies at the heart of the system of EU external relations. Moreover, often used by the Union as a laboratory for experimenting with new constitutional devices and as a testing ground for innovative institutional practices, these Partnerships have also foreshadowed change in the system itself.
Issues covered include the legal specificity of the Partnership and Cooperation Agreements as embodiments of a new form of mixed agreements; the constitutional principles underpinning the system of EU external relations, e.g. the duty of cooperation, the preservation of the acquis and the principle of coherence; as well as the significance of institutional practice in developing the system, and its contribution to the evolution of the EU constitutional charter. The book will be of interest to scholars, practitioners and students of the law of EU external relations, EU constitutional law, and the Union's policy towards its east-European neighbours.