Diplomacy by Decree: The Legalization of EU Foreign Policy

Michael Smith

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

36 Citations (Scopus)


One of the unique features of European integration involves the creation of a constitutional order for the European Union (EU). This order clearly governs many aspects of EU Member State economic and social policies, yet its impact on European foreign policy is less well understood. Although most Member States resist the legalization of their foreign policy co-operation, this policy domain has in fact become more legal, and in ways that have been neglected by most theorists of European integration and international law. To address these gaps in our understanding, this article explains (1) why legalization is an important aspect of European foreign policy; (2) how legalization has taken place; and (3) the impact of legalization on the evolution of EU foreign policy.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)79-104
Number of pages26
JournalJournal of Common Market Studies
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2001




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