Lisbon Treaty: High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy

Article 9 E [18] [new article] presented and discussed below


1. The European Council, acting by a qualified majority, with the agreement of the President of the Commission, shall appoint the High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy. The European Council may end his term of office by the same procedure.

2. The High Representative shall conduct the Union's common foreign and security policy. He shall contribute by his proposals to the development of that policy, which he shall carry out as mandated by the Council. The same shall apply to the common security and defence policy.

3. The High Representative shall preside over the Foreign Affairs Council.

4. The High Representative shall be one of the Vice-Presidents of the Commission. He shall ensure the consistency of the Union's external action. He shall be responsible within the Commission for responsibilities incumbent on it in external relations and for coordinating other aspects of the Union's external action. In exercising these responsibilities within the Commission, and only for these responsibilities, the High Representative shall be bound by Commission procedures to the extent that this is consistent with paragraphs 2 and 3.

YES: Article 9e creates a ‘High Representative for Foreign and Security Policy', merging two existing offices to create greater co-ordination. The representative can only act on issues that all member states unaminously approve. (Fine Gael). This Treaty streamlines the existing Foreign Affairs functions of the EU through the creation of a new consolidated position which will lead to greater efficiency in this area.  (Irish Alliance For Europe).

NO: Another key position that will be unaccountable democratically (Sinn Fein).

Commentary: This will be a hugely powerful position, all the more so given the new security and defence dimension of the EU, accorded in this Treaty. The European Parliament will have no role in the appointment of this person, nor in holding this person accountable. The Council, acting almost entirely in secret, will be the only body that will have oversight of this role.