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Constitutional Principles of EU External Relations$
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Geert De Baere

Print publication date: 2008

Print ISBN-13: 9780199546688

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2009

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199546688.001.0001

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The Community Method

The Community Method

(p.73) 3 The Community Method
Constitutional Principles of EU External Relations

Geert De Baere

Oxford University Press

The Community method of decision-making is characterized by (i) the central role of the Commission in formulating proposals; (ii) qualified majority voting (QMV) in the Council as a rule; (iii) involvement of the European Parliament with varying intensity depending on the decision-making procedure; and (iv) the role of the Court in ensuring judicial accountability. This chapter explores the differences between the operation of the Community method within EC external relations and its operation in internal policies. It shows that the contrasts are less pronounced with regard to autonomous foreign policy measures than with respect to international agreements. Both autonomous external measures and internal measures use the same legal instruments and the Commission's role is essentially the same. The Parliament's role in autonomous external measures, however, differs substantially depending on the policy in question. With regard to international agreements, both the Commission and the Parliament see their roles greatly reduced compared with their role in internal policies.

Keywords:   EC, decision making, foreign relations, foreign policy, internal relations

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