Having recently completed its first decade of existence, the EU's counter-terrorism policy has been receiving increasing scholarly attention as reflected in the specialized literature devoted to this emerging policy area. Its external dimension, nevertheless, has not been the subject of thorough and systematic analyses which scrutinize its characteristic features and principal actors, policies and interests. Against this backdrop, the introductory article of this Special Issue aims at providing a contextualised assessment of the external dimension of EU counter-terrorism while discussing the impact of the Lisbon Treaty upon this policy field. It proceeds with an examination of the policies, interests and actorness dynamics associated with the EU's counter-terrorism policy in highlighting the major findings and conclusions conveyed by the five contributions to this Special Issue. Its conclusion points to possible avenues for future research on the basis of identified underdeveloped topics, under-theorised aspects and neglected issues in the existing literature.