CEUR Working Paper No 2, September 2011

Uwe Puetter / Antje Wiener

The Intergovernmental Dimension of EU Foreign and Security Policy: Enacting Normative Meaning-in-Use in Policy Deliberation

The European Union's (EU) common foreign and security policy (CFSP) will be confined within an intergovernmental setting for the foreseeable future. Crisis situations regularly put CFSP governance under strain. Simultaneously policy activity is constantly expanding. This article seeks to make sense of the constant alternation between consensus and conflict against the background of an ever more complex institutional architecture which channels exchanges over alternative policy options at the intergovernmental level. It reviews contemporary EU foreign and security policy practice as a process of routinized norm contestation which is embedded in a peculiar institutional setting ‑ best described as deliberative intergovernmentalism. CFSP practice is analysed according to central issue areas such the question of a principled or pragmatic orientation of CFSP, the definition of a combined civilian and military approach, the transatlantic partnership, EU‑Russia relations and the EU's engagement in Congo. The Foreign Affairs Council, the Political and Security Committee and the network of Political Directors are reviewed with regard to their ability to function as key forums for policy debate and venues for norm contestation.