’Supranationalization’ of CFSP – Wishful Thinking or Rational Choice to Face the ’Hybrid’ Challenges?

  • Abstract:

    Despite the formal abolition of the ‘pillars’ by the Lisbon Treaty, in practice they were preserved by special rules for the Common Foreign and Security Policy (CFSP). The current academic discourse about the CFSP development reflects the dichotomy of supranational and intergovernmental EU components. Despite the formally intergovernmental set-up for the CFSP, the post-Lisbon practice went far beyond the formal treaty-based limits, thus being flexible enough to successfully respond the ad hoc challenges met en route. This contribution provides the insight of the current development of the EU institutional set-up. Recent Russian ‘hybrid war’ as well as the concept of ‘comprehensive approach’ for the crisis management stressed the absence of easy answers. Moreover, they emphasized the inter-dependence of different EU policies as well as common responsibility of the EU institutions with no place for the existing split of the EU foreign policies. My argument is that ‘supranationalization’ of CFSP is a rational response to the current hybrid challenges. This argument is supported by current trends of both the post-Lisbon CFSP practice development and growing involvement of the European Parliament into this policy area despite the existing formal limits. The current practice emphasizes compound goals of the EU foreign policy as well as priority of long-term development goal over pure military aims, bringing to the fore the ’economic block’, which has already been supranational. Thus the High Representative is doomed to rely on Commission as well as its established administrative structures. Moreover, the post-Lisbon institutional framework demonstrated clear signs of ’parliamentarization’ of the CFSP. This process is believed to contribute to strengthening the coherence of the EU, making its international performance stronger and more effective, especially from the perspective of the policy-formation process and Parliament’s monitoring functions.