Still governing in the shadows? Member states and the political and security committee in the post‐Lisbon EU foreign policy architecture

Heidi Maurer, Nicholas Wright

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Citations (Scopus)
9 Downloads (Pure)


The Lisbon Treaty introduced far-reaching reforms for EU foreign policy co-operation. In the decade since, most scholarship has focused on the High Representative and EEAS. Far less consideration has been given to its consequences for member states' ownership of foreign policy. This article therefore examines how these institutional reforms have affected the Political and Security Committee (PSC), established to enable member states to better manage EU foreign policy cooperation. Drawing on new empirical data, it shows that the PSC has found its capacity to act as strategic agenda-setter increasingly constrained because of greater opportunities for activism by the HRVP and EEAS; and by the emergence of the European Council as the key arbiter in foreign policy decision-making. While this indicates the PSC today finds it harder to perform the role originally assigned to it, it is gaining alternative relevance through an emerging oversight role, which has implications for member states' EU foreign policy engagement.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)856-872
Number of pages17
JournalJCMS: Journal of Common Market Studies
Issue number4
Early online date5 Nov 2020
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2021

Cite this