Boost or Backlash? EU Member States and the EU’s Latin America Policy in the Post-Lisbon Era



This chapter assesses the impact of the Lisbon Treaty on the EU’s relations with Latin America. In particular, it focuses on the interaction between the EU and three important Member States: Germany, Spain, and the UK. Given the importance of these three Member States within the EU in general and, especially in the case of Spain, in relations with Latin America in particular, they should be particularly instructive. This chapter assesses three dimensions of policy-making towards Latin America upon which the Lisbon Treaty might have an effect. The first is the ‘home’ dimension and concerns policy-making in the respective Foreign Ministries. Are Member States more constrained than previously in their relations with Latin America? Does the Lisbon Treaty provide an opportunity to ‘outsource’ aspects of policy to the EU? Or does it cause a ‘backlash’ effect, leading to greater national assertiveness? This should be particularly relevant for countries with weaker direct interests in Latin America. The ‘Brussels’ dimension refers to the interaction between domestic and EU policy. Does the Lisbon Treaty diminish the Member States’ opportunities to influence the EU’s policy towards the region? Are there substantial changes in the policy itself? This aspect should be especially relevant for Spain: can it maintain its traditionally strong influence at the EU level? Finally, the ‘Latin American’ dimension concerns European representation on the ground. What does the establishment of the EU’s External Action Service (EEAS) mean for Member States’ activities in Latin America itself? Does the EU take a more active role, and are the Member States concerned about this? Or do they rather see it as an opportunity to ‘outsource’ representation, especially in times of budgetary constraints? This might be particularly relevant to the UK, which has a relatively weak policy towards Latin America and might be able to use the EEAS to strengthen its profile or delegate responsibilities. By triangulating interview data with government and EU documents, I assess the push and pull factors the Lisbon Treaty exerts on Member States’ relations with the EU’s Latin American policy and on Member States’ own relations with the region. While relations with Latin America are just one example, they should also be instructive for links with other regions.


European Union Member State Foreign Policy European Union Member State External Relation 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


  1. Acosta D (2009) Latin American reactions to the adoption of the returns directive. Centre for European Policy Studies, BrusselsGoogle Scholar
  2. Allen D, Smith M (2010) Relations with the rest of the world. Journal of Common Market Studies 48:205–223Google Scholar
  3. Bulmer S, Paterson WE (2010) Germany and the European Union: From ‘tamed’ to normalized power? International Affairs 86:1051–1072CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. del Arenal C (2006) Una relación singular: España y las relaciones UE‐América Latina. In: Freres C, Sanahuja JA (eds) América Latina y la Unión Europea: Estrategias para una relación necesaria. Icaria, BarcelonaGoogle Scholar
  5. Duke S (2008) The Lisbon Treaty and external relations. Eipascope 1:13–18Google Scholar
  6. Formuszewicz R, Kumoch J (2010) The practice of appointing the heads of EU delegations in the wake of the council decision on external action service. Polish Institute of International Affairs, WarsawGoogle Scholar
  7. Gardner AL, Eizenstat SE (2010) New Treaty, new influence? Foreign Affairs 89:104–119Google Scholar
  8. Gratius S (2010) Why does Spain not have a policy for Latin America? FRIDE, MadridGoogle Scholar
  9. Hague W (2010a) Britain’s Foreign Policy in a networked world: speech outlining the Government’s vision for UK foreign policy, 1 July 2010, Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO), London. Last accessed 3 June 2011
  10. Hague W (2010b) Britain and Latin America: historic friends, future partners. 2010 Canning Lecture, 9 Nov 2010, Foreign and Commonwealth Office, London. Last accessed 3 June 2011
  11. Hillman J, Kleimann D (2010) Trading places: the new dynamics of EU trade policy under the Treaty of Lisbon. German Marshall Fund of the United States, WashingtonGoogle Scholar
  12. Jupille J, Caporaso JA (1999) Institutionalism and the European union: beyond international relations and comparative politics. Annual Review of Political Science 2:429–444CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Maihold G (2010) Das neue Lateinamerikakonzept der Bundesregierung: Politikinnovation durch Konzeptentwicklung? Iberoamerikanisches Institut, BerlinGoogle Scholar
  14. Torreblanca JI (2010) Foreign policy needs a rethink above and beyond Europe, Financial Times Online. Last accessed 3 June 2011
  15. Wouters J, Coppens D, De Meester B (2008) The European union’s external relations after the Lisbon Treaty. In: Griller S, Ziller J (eds) The Lisbon Treaty: EU constitutionalism without a constitutional treaty. Springer, Wien, pp 144–203Google Scholar

Copyright information

© T.M.C. ASSER PRESS, The Hague, The Netherlands, and the author 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Center for Doctoral Studies in Social and Behavioral Sciences (CDSS)University of MannheimMannheimGermany

Personalised recommendations