General Affairs


The European Union maintains close relations with third countries as well as with international organisations. Those relations range from trade to enlargement and neighbourhood policies, Common Security and Defence Policy (CSDP), development assistance and humanitarian interventions.

With the entry into force of the Treaty of Lisbon, EU External Relations became the remit of the High Representative for Foreign Policy – a post currently held by Federica Mogherini – who is contemporaneously Vice President of the European Commission. Enlargement and neighbourhood policies, as well as development cooperation and international trade, remain the responsibility of individual Commissioners. Nevertheless, the High Representative coordinates and ensures that the EU plays a consistent role in all sectors of external relations. The High Representative also chairs the Foreign Affairs Council, with the task of ensuring consistency in EU external actions.