The Dark Side Of Lisbon
Arvamus 02 Dec 2009  EWR
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Ahto Lobjakas, Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty
BRUSSELS -- Far from injecting new impetus into the European Union's foreign policy, the Lisbon Treaty, which came into force on December 1, is likely to further sap its effectiveness.

As a result of the treaty's coming into effect, the institutional underpinnings and basic assumptions of EU foreign policy now require adjustment in a manner that will diminish the importance of its communal (also described, variously, as the supranational, federalist, or integrationist) element.

Under the guise of the "streamlining" changes introduced by Lisbon, member states will wrest back most of the control over external relations they had ceded to the European Commission over the past decade.

As a result, the leverage the EU can bring to bear on events beyond its borders will be increasingly generated along axes connecting national capitals -- bypassing Brussels.

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