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EU Common Foreign and Security Policy

Volume 473: debated on Monday 17 March 2008

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence whether under the treaty of Lisbon the European Court of Justice will have jurisdiction over any aspect of the UK's foreign and defence policies; and what the definition of common foreign and security is in the Treaty. (191936)

I have been asked to reply.

The jurisdiction of the European Court of Justice (ECJ) over the Common Foreign and Security Policy (CFSP) is explicitly excluded with two limited exceptions. The ECJ will be able to monitor the boundary between the CFSP and other EU external action, as is currently the case; it will, in addition, be able to ensure that the CFSP cannot be affected by other EU policies as a distinct and equal area of action. In addition, individuals who are subject to CFSP sanctions will be able to challenge these in court. Individuals can already challenge economic sanctions to which they are subject and the Government welcome this closing of the gap in the judicial protection of the individual.

The Maastricht treaty established that the Union should define a CFSP covering all areas of foreign and security policy. The treaty of Lisbon reconfirms that the CFSP shall cover all areas of foreign policy and all questions related to the Union's security. It further specifies that the CFSP shall be defined and implemented by the European Council and the Council.