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Treaty of Lisbon: Foreign Policy

Volume 476: debated on Monday 19 May 2008

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what the legal status is of the declaration attached to the treaty of Lisbon which states that nothing in the treaties affects the existing powers of the member states to formulate and conduct their foreign policy. (191937)

I have been asked to reply.

The Common Foreign and Security Policy (CFSP) was established by the Maastricht treaty. Under the Lisbon treaty it will remain a common policy based on the general rule that decisions must be taken unanimously by the member states. As Article 1 (27) of the Lisbon treaty makes clear, the special nature of CFSP is safeguarded with its decision making arrangements different and separate from all other areas of EU policy.

The declarations on CFSP further express the political commitment of all 27 member states that foreign policy is the responsibility of the member states and that the treaty does not affect member states' ability to formulate and conduct their own foreign policy.