EU External Relations Law and the European Neighbourhood Policy: A Paradigm for Coherence (Hardback) book cover

EU External Relations Law and the European Neighbourhood Policy

A Paradigm for Coherence

By Bart Van Vooren

© 2012 – Routledge

356 pages

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The European Neighbourhood Policy (ENP) is a recent example of an external EU policy drawn up explicitly with the objective of achieving coherence in the external policies of the EU and its Member States. Positioning the ENP in the legal-historical context of political union, this book explains why coherence has become a substantive issue in EU external relations, and why law is integral to attaining the ever-enigmatic single voice of the European Union.

The text examines the role of EU external relations law in attaining a coherent neighbourhood policy and goes on to undertake an in depth analysis of the ENP, arguing that the innovative nature of the ENP in regard to coherence lies beyond the narrowly defined legal sphere, and stems primarily from its hybrid composition of hard legal, soft legal and non-legal policy instruments. Adopting an interdisciplinary approach by integrating elements of law, history and political science, EU External Relations Law and the European Neighbourhood Policy is unique in its approach to the subject.

This book will be of particular interest to academics and students of EU Law, Political Science, History and International Relations as well as to practitioners engaged in the process of drafting coherent external policy.


'Van Vooren is to be commended for taking on such an ambitious methodological task to advance his research and I look forward to reading his work in the future.

In short, this book is a remarkable piece of scholarship. It is meticulously researched throughout and the author demonstrates both a deep knowledge of the ENP' - Paul James Cardwell, University of Sheffield, in the Common Market Law Review

'This book is well written in clear, simple and precise language, making ample and accurate reference to scholarly literature, case law of the CJEU, official policy documents and EU legal instruments to substantiate and construct the argumentation of the author' - Viorelia Gasca, Maastricht University, for European Law Review (2013)

Table of Contents

1. A Legal History of Fragmentation and Coherence in EU External Action 2. A Theoretical Framework for Coherence in EU External Relations Law and Policy 3. Coherence of EU and Member State External Action: Duty of Loyalty 4. Coherence Across Divided Union Competences in the TEU & TFEU 5. Coherence and Soft Law in EU External Relations: ENP as a Paradigm 6. Coherence as Policy Synergy in the ENP 7. Conclusion: The ENP, a Paradigm for Coherence?

About the Author

Bart Van Vooren is Assistant Professor of EU Law at the University of Copenhagen. His research focuses on EU external relations law and global governance with an emphasis on international finance. Illustrative of this research agenda is his 2011 article in the Common Market Law Review entitled ‘A legal-institutional perspective on the European External Action Service’.

About the Series

Routledge Research in EU Law

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Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
LAW / General
LAW / International
POLITICAL SCIENCE / International Relations / General
POLITICAL SCIENCE / International Relations / Diplomacy
POLITICAL SCIENCE / International Relations / Treaties