The EU in the United Nations Security Council: Trends from the United Kingdom and France

Publication Date: 
Item Reference: 
Publication Place: 
UNU Institute on Comparative Regional Integration Studies
Publication Language: 
Policy Brief Type: 

The European Union (EU) is the first supranational organisation to maintain a continuous presence in the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) through its member states. As prescribed in its Common Foreign and Security Policy (CFSP) and in the amended Treaty on the European Union, a degree of cooperation inside the Security Council through its member states is expected from those holding permanent and non-permanent seats. While the EU has enjoyed a rather privileged position by being able to count on two permanent members, the UK and France, data reveals that these two countries have started to downplay working with the EU in the UNSC, pursuing more independent approaches instead. The UK, under a Conservative-led government, has been hesitant in working with the EU in a multitude of matters relating to foreign policy and since the Brexit referendum this trend has only been exacerbated. France, on the other hand, has been enjoying a reinvigorated Europhilia but prefers to cooperate with the EU through channels outside of the UN. The EU, nonetheless, has very significant advantages when it comes to being represented in the UNSC and should capitalise on the continued presence of its member states in the UNSC via amendments in the CFSP as well as expanding its efforts to use France as a medium to push through its agenda.

United Nations Security Council, European Union, United Kingdom, France, Brexit, CFSP