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Common foreign and security policy (CFSP)

The CFSP was established by the Maastricht Treaty. It provides for the eventual framing of a common defence policy which might in time lead to a common defence.

The objectives of the CFSP are set out in Article 24 of the EU Treaty and are to be attained through specific legal instruments, such as joint actions and common positions adopted unanimously in the Council.

With the Lisbon Treaty, the CFSP now forms part of the larger framework of the Union’s external Union. The Lisbon Treaty reiterates the principles which govern the definition of this policy. Furthermore, it increases the effectiveness of the Common Foreign and Security Policy by entrusting the High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy with the mission to implement the strategies and decisions taken by the European Council and the Council in matters related to the CFSP. In carrying out their mandate, the High Representative is supported by the European External Action Service and the Political and Security Committee (PSC).

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