Europe's Role in the United Nations


With the implementation of the Treaty of Lisbon on December 1, 2009, the European Union assumed all rights and duties of the European Community, among them its status within the United Nations – whereby it retains all the existing rights and duties of the European Community.

The European Union replaced the European Community in February 1992 with the implementation of the Maastricht Treaty. The subsequent Treaty of Lisbon enhanced coordination, efficiency and consistency of the European Union's foreign policy, inter alia through the development of the European External Action Service under the leadership of a High Representative for the Common Foreign and Security Policy. This development also enabled the European Union to strengthen its profile within the United Nations.

The European Union cooperates on many levels with the United Nations. Its Member States contribute around 40% of the budget of the United Nations – by far the largest share. At the political level, the European Union works in close cooperation with the United Nations in such areas as peacekeeping, development, human rights or humanitarian assistance. Examples of this involvement include the European Union's missions in Bosnia and Herzegovina (EUFOR/ALTHEA), Kosovo (EULEX), Afghanistan (EUPOL), or Mali (EUTM) which are mandated by the United Nations.

In intergovernmental negotiations within the United Nations, EU Member States are trying to align their positions. This allows the European Union or a designated Member State to negotiate on behalf of all 28 Member States of the European Union and to make the European voice heard.

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