For scholars interested in European foreign policy, it is crucial to note that he trouble in the Eurozone struck at a time when European foreign policy was already in flux: Greece reached agreement with the IMF over its first bailout package only five months after the Lisbon Treaty went into effect, creating the European External Action Service (EEAS) and the post of High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy (HR). These two institutions were designed with the intention of facilitating the coordination of national foreign policies among EU member states, but the novelty of the Lisbon Treaty left considerable uncertainty about how member states would incorporate the EEAS and the HR into their foreign policymaking procedures.
The turmoil in the Eurozone has only magnified the uncertainty surrounding the future of European foreign policy, both in areas related to the Lisbon Treaty and in other areas as well: can an economically weakened EU continue to use trade as a foreign policy instrument? Will austerity-induced cutbacks to national defence budgets mean the end of the Common Security and Defence Policy (CSDP)? Might, on the other hand, a new fiscal and political union finally make a ‘European Army’ feasible?