The Theory: Lead Groups and EU Foreign Policy-Making

  • Riccardo Alcaro
Chapter
Part of the Palgrave Studies in European Union Politics book series (PSEUP)

Abstract

Lead groups such as the E3/EU team on Iran are crisis management solutions to problems the EU is incapable of addressing through its own institutions and mechanisms. A practice that finds no basis in EU treaties, lead groups invariably create an imbalance between the member states in the lead, the insiders, and those that follow, the outsiders. The compromise underlying lead groups results from an intergovernmental bargaining process that reflects an asymmetry of interest between insiders and outsiders. Yet, lead groups can only form if the terms of the ‘bargain’ between insiders and outsiders are in line with the EU identity layer of all member states. As foreign policy-making machines, lead groups not only give direction and substance to EU foreign policy, but also articulate the type and role identity of the EU and its member states as international agents.

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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Riccardo Alcaro
    • 1
  1. 1.Istituto Affari InternazionaliRomeItaly

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