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Argument: The Lisbon Treaty will strengthen the EU's voice in the world

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"Treaty of Lisbon. Questions and Answers". - Will Europe’s voice in the world be stronger with the Treaty of Lisbon?

Yes, this should be one of its major achievements. The Treaty of Lisbon sets out common principles and objectives for the Union’s external action: democracy, the rule of law, the universality and indivisibility of human rights and fundamental freedoms, respect for human dignity, the principles of equality and solidarity.

Most of the external relations provisions of the existing treaties will be regrouped in a single Title of the Treaty of Lisbon. This will improve their readability and promotes the coherence of the Union’s action.

The current functions of the High Representative for common foreign and security policy (CFSP) will be combined with those of a Vice-President of the Commission, creating a new institutional player with “two hats” (The High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy/Vice-President of the Commission). This will strengthen coherence in external action and raise the EU’s profile in the world, “putting a face” on the Union and making it possible to promote progressively the “common European interest”.

The High Representative/Vice-President will be assisted by a joint service, the European External Action Service (EEAS) that will be composed of officials from the Council, the Commission and the diplomatic services of the Member States.

The Treaty of Lisbon also introduces a specific legal base for humanitarian aid. This provision puts the emphasis on the application of the principles of international law and on impartiality, neutrality and non-discrimination. It also envisages the creation of a European Voluntary Humanitarian Aid Corps.

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