This paper addresses the general problems encountered in an analysis of EU diplomacy, and specifically the emergence of the EU 'diplomatic system'. The first part of the paper reviews the literature on the changing nature of diplomacy, with particular attention to multi-level and multi-stakeholder diplomacy and to the interaction between diplomacy in commercial, political and security domains. This review then forms the foundation for consideration of the EU as a 'diplomatic system', generating questions in three areas: first, the institutional development of EU diplomacy; second, the conduct of strategic diplomacy aimed at positioning the EU in the global arena; third, the development of structural diplomacy which has led to EU engagement in peace-building and state-building. The final part of the paper will review the prospects for the EU's diplomatic system after the Lisbon Treaty, and identify potential future challenges or opportunities in the world arena.
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