The Role of EU Special Representatives in the Post-Lisbon Foreign Policy System: A Renaissance?

2 / 2012

EU Special Representatives have been deployed since 1996 in order to contribute to the EU’s crisis management efforts in various crisis regions. As they are not part of the formal hierarchy of the European External Action Service and thus a rather flexible foreign policy instrument at the disposal of the Member States, new special representatives have been appointed in 2011 and 2012. This Policy Brief argues that the representatives’ autonomy must not necessarily lead to ‘clashes of competence’ with the EU’s diplomatic service.