This dissertation analyses the organisation of the external action structures of the European Union. As an international actor which is beyond a state, but also different to traditional international organisations, the EU has created a “diplomatic constellation” in which diplomacy from member states is not substituted but complemented by EU external action.
This work analyses the process through which the EU has become such a special international actor, and how the dialectic between supranational and intergovernmental elements is useful to understand the nature and dynamics of that process.
EU´s multilateralism is exemplified vis à vis the United Nations to show how the EU is very different to traditional international organisations.
Finally, the dissertation focuses on the analysis of the three most important diplomatic structures created for the EU by the Lisbon Treaty: The High Representative/Vice-President of the Commission; the European External Action Service; and the EU Delegations.
Thus, this dissertation tries to show that the current EU external action structure is a truly innovative scheme (a “tertium genus” in relation to traditional “diplomatic services” from states and intergovernmental international organisations) that has tried to reconcile intergovernmental and supranational tensions related to the nature of the whole EU integration process.