Does the European Union Transform the Institution of Diplomacy?
How and to what extent is traditional inter-state diplomacy challenged by the evolving of Europe? This paper assesses the changing role of national diplomats by way of novel institutionalist insights.
Diplomacy as a framework of principles, rules and organized patterns of behavior regulating interstate relations in the Westphalian system of states is challenged by the process of European integration. This paper conceptualizes diplomacy and its change using two new institutionalist perspectives that provide us with complementaryinsights into the nature of diplomacy as an institution. These are then applied to the study of diplomacy in the European Union. The process of European integration is shown as challenging the institution of diplomacy at three levels: a) the intra-European bilateral relations; b) the multilateral setting of the Council; and c) the emerging capacity of the EU to conduct external diplomatic relations with third states. The paper assesses change in and of diplomacy at these levels.