The External Dimension of EU Counter-Terrorism Relations: Competences, Interests, and Institutions

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Some very significant policy developments indicate “supranationalisation processes” of EU external relations in counter-terrorism, even in its most significant relationship with the USA. This means that, increasingly, the USA is willing to work with Europe through its institutionalised forum—the European Union. Thus, the EU achieves certain recognition on the world stage in areas previously completely unsuspected—the “high politics” of counter-terrorism. This supranationalisation process proceeds in two stages. Firstly, the construction of an Area of Freedom, Security and Justice (AFSJ) pools a significant amount of national sovereignty at the level of the EU through the establishment of internal EU competences. As a side effect, however, it also constructs an institutionalised structure for external actors, such as the U.S., to deal with. Through dealing within this institutional setting, member states' interests become defined in such a way that increasingly they construct a “European” interest related to counter-terrorism.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)41-61
JournalTerrorism and Political Violence
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 22 Dec 2009


  • EU area of freedom
  • EU counter-terrorism
  • external dimension of EU counter-terrorism
  • judicial cooperation
  • police cooperation security and justice
  • transatlantic relations


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