Council of the European Union: Have Institutional Changes of the Presidency Been Solving the EU Coherence and Effectiveness Problem?
The EU has already become one of the most influential international actors. Nevertheless, it also has been criticized for a period of time as being too slow and inefficient within decision making process, also having democracy deficit and coherence problems. The institutional changes, brought within the implementation of Lisbon Treaty, have been seeking to solve these issues. This article examines the main EU legislative body- Council of the EU- and decision making process focusing on the presidency‘s roles. The Lisbon Treaty introduced important institutional changes by empowering the European Parliament and diminishing the functions of rotating presidency in the EU foreign policy field. In the article it is questioned how these theoretical changes were met practically? What were the main reasons for the institutional change and what kind of the problematic aspects did the implementation process create? The analysis is based on the empirical qualitative research which involves the materials of 33 semi - structured interviews, collected from the employees of the EU institutions including national embassies of the member states. It is argued that the Lisbon Treaty changes stabilized EU’s foreign policy agenda and strengthened bicameral EU legislative structure, also accumulated the growth of the EU Parliament’s political ambitions.