The Foreign Policy of the European Union

The Foreign Policy of the European Union: Assessing Europe's Role in the World

Federiga Bindi
Irina Angelescu
Copyright Date: 2012
Edition: 2
Pages: 366
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  • Book Info
    The Foreign Policy of the European Union
    Book Description:

    In a relatively short time, the EU has become one of the most important actors on the world stage. This updated second edition of The Foreign Policy of the European Union explores the goals and effectiveness of the EU's external actions after adoption of the Lisbon Treaty. The book brings together prominent scholars and policymakers who provide an up-to-date view of the EU's foreign policy merits and challenges.

    "The role and place of the European Union in the world has been a constant question for all of the actors involved.... This book reminds us well of the importance of this question and offers a particularly welcome general overview during these times of doubt and pessimism." -Pierre Vimont, from the foreword

    eISBN: 978-0-8157-2253-3
    Subjects: Political Science

Table of Contents

  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-iv)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. v-viii)
  3. Foreword / Avant Propos
    (pp. ix-xvi)
    Pierre Vimont

    From the very beginning of the European project, the role and place of the European Union in the world has been a constant question for all of the actors involved. A final answer has not yet been found. This volume edited by Federiga Bindi and Irina Angelescu reminds us well of the importance of this question and offers a particularly welcome general overview during these times of doubt and pessimism.

    The foreign policy of the European Union was built slowly, progressively, sometimes even painstakingly and remains an unfinished work. This observation is at the heart of the European question, of...

  4. Introduction
    (pp. 1-8)

    Two years ago we began this volume with a question regarding whether the concept of a European Union (EU) foreign policy was paradoxical, as Jan Zielonka has suggested.¹ According to Zielonka, the EU wanted to become a powerful international actor without becoming a superstate and hoped to have a strong impact on Europe and the rest of the world without basing these aspirations on a well-defined and consistent strategy. The adoption of the Treaty of Lisbon was meant to address this paradox, but, two years on, the picture is even more blurred.

    The history of European integration includes the struggle...

  5. Part I The European Union’s Foreign Policy Tools

    • 1 European Union Foreign Policy: A Historical Overview
      (pp. 11-39)

      I n the words of Walter Hallstein, “One reason for creating the European Community [was] to enable Europe to play its full part in world affairs. . . . [It is] vital for the Community to be able to speak with one voice and to act as one in economic relations with the rest of the world.”¹ However, the early European Community did not have a coherent foreign policystricto senso. The European Economic Community (EEC) treaty did, however, contain important provisions in the field of external relations that evolved and became increasingly substantive as the years went by. The...

    • 2 The New EU Foreign Policy under the Treaty of Lisbon
      (pp. 40-50)

      The Common Foreign and Security Policy (CFSP) was undoubtedly one of the most debated issues during the EU’s “constitutional” process, which stretched from 2002 to 2007. The final outcome was not clear-cut. And so it remains, after the entry into force of the Treaty of Lisbon on December 1, 2009.¹ True, the new treaty introduces important CFSP innovations, but it also limits their scope through a series of conditions. It is worth focusing on both of these aspects in order to better understand what EU foreign policy might look like in post-Lisbon Europe. In so doing, this chapter first defines...

    • 3 The Making of EU Foreign Policy—Does Lisbon Matter? A View from Within
      (pp. 51-61)

      For most commentators the European reaction to the Arab Spring has been another disappointment. The European Union was not a main stakeholder in the process, and for some it seemed as if the EU as a whole was not concerned about the events. There is some truth in this: the intervention in Libya, for instance, was mainly a French and British operation, while Germany chose not to be involved. Yet it would be unfair to jump to the conclusion that the EU failed to react fittingly to the crisis in the Arab world altogether, and to interpret the EU’s position...

    • 4 Common Security and Defense Policy: Development, Added Value, and Challenges
      (pp. 62-84)

      Quite surprisingly, the Common Security and Defense Policy (CSDP)— labeled the European Security and Defense Policy (ESDP) until the Lisbon Treaty¹—emerged in the previous decade as one of the spearheads of the EU’s foreign policy and a main asset in the EU’s foreign policy toolbox.² Even more, the CSDP seemed to become one of the rare recent success stories of European integration. This came at a time when the integration process seemed to be in disarray, with growing divergences between the twenty-seven member states, a weakened institutional framework and European leadership, and serious hurdles to getting the Lisbon Treaty...

    • 5 Justice and Home Affairs as a New Tool of European Foreign Policy: The Case of Mediterranean Countries
      (pp. 85-96)

      The European Union was established with the aim of bringing peace to Europe by creating economic interdependence among European countries. Military cooperation was excluded from the original objectives of integration because the military defense of Western European countries was provided by NATO and the United States. The notion of Europe as a “civilian power” was theorized in 1972 by François Duchêne, and it refers broadly to the use of nonmilitary, primarily economic means by the EU in exercising its international role.

      Neverthless, since the 1970s the European Union has developed several types of policies toward third states. They range from...

  6. Part II The European Union and Its Neighbors

    • 6 European Neighborhood Policy: Living up to Regional Ambitions?
      (pp. 99-117)

      On the eve of eastern enlargement in 2004, the European Union was confronted with a double fear. On the one hand, enlargement brought a security challenge, with the EU closer to more unstable areas. On the other, the big enlargement created a major paradox. While it included ten former communist countries in the process of European integration, it risked creating new dividing lines by leaving others out. Enlargement would inevitably affect trade relations or human mobility between the new member states and their neighbors. The danger was that of creating a two-speed Europe, with a firmly integrated, stable, and affluent...

    • 7 The European Union and Russia: Engaged in Building a Strategic Partnership
      (pp. 118-133)

      “Geographically, Europe and Russia are overlapping entities. Half of EuropeisRussia; half of Russia isinEurope. However, politics, in contrast to geography, does not necessarily take this as axiomatic—either in Europe or in Russia.”¹ The entire history of relations between Russia and Europe has been marked by attraction (sometimes emulation on the part of Moscow) and the need to cooperate, periodically replaced by competition and mistrust. Similar ups and downs have also characterized the institutional ties between the Russian Federation and the EU. Both the EU and Russia are now at important crossroads: the EU is maneuvering...

    • 8 Ukraine and Belarus: Floating between the European Union and Russia
      (pp. 134-152)

      Despite their common Soviet past, Ukraine and Belarus have taken different paths since the USSR’s collapse. Ukraine’s orientation has oscillated between the EU and Russia. After having adopted a westward-looking foreign policy in 2004, Ukraine has now chosen a multivector foreign orientation aimed at balancing its two big neighbors, the EU and Russia. Recent developments, however, reveal that this position reflects a failure to develop a clear-cut strategy for dealing with these neighbors. Belarus has remained the only truly communist country in Europe, keeping close links with Moscow and developing only a few areas of cooperation with the EU without...

    • 9 The European Union and the Western Balkans: Does the Lisbon Treaty Matter?
      (pp. 153-171)

      This chapter discusses the relations between the European Union and the Western Balkans, before and following the entry into force of the Treaty of Lisbon. In the first part I address the historical context of relations between the EU and the countries in the Western Balkans and present the current state of play. In the second part I summarize the bilateral issues that affect relations between the countries of the Western Balkans and the EU. In the third part I discuss the relevance of the Treaty of Lisbon for the present and future relationship between the EU and the Western...

    • 10 EU Enlargement: The Challenge and Promise of Turkey
      (pp. 172-185)

      The geographic expansion of the European Union, known as “widening,” brings challenges and opportunities to the EU, its member states, and the candidate countries. It also affects the “deepening” of the Union and its efforts for institutional reform. This is a challenging task, as shown by the failure of the Constitutional Treaty and the difficulties the Lisbon Treaty faced. At this writing, in early 2012, there were five candidate countries: Croatia had completed the accession negotiations and was expected to join the EU in 2013; Turkey started accession negotiations in 2005, and they were still going on; the former Yugoslav...

    • 11 The European Union and the Mediterranean Nonmember States
      (pp. 186-202)

      The European Neighborhood Policy (ENP), established in 2004, has been dealing with trade, aid, and migration flows between a European Union of twenty-seven member states and a series of countries on its immediate external periphery. Not all of them are new neighboring countries of the EU-27, nor are all of the new or old neighbors dealt with by the new policy.

      It is interesting to note that the enlarged EU found it useful to combine several external economic policy instruments to deal specifically with developing countries on its periphery to reach certain policy objectives. This chapter focuses on a subset...

    • 12 The European Union and the Middle East
      (pp. 203-212)

      The issue of the European Union’s relations with the Middle East could hardly be more pressing, given the extraordinary events of 2011. First came the Arab Spring, the movement that began in Tunisia and then spread quickly to Egypt, Libya, Syria, and (partially) the Gulf states. Next came the war in Libya itself, in which NATO countries—led by Britain, France, Italy, and others—staged a decisive aerial intervention to help rebels based in Benghazi to depose the regime of Colonel Muammar Qaddafi. Other critical events in 2011 include the Turkish general election in June, which returned the government led...

  7. Part III The European Union and Other Countries

    • 13 The Lisbon Treaty and Relations between the European Union and the United States
      (pp. 215-236)

      The Treaty of Lisbon, ratified and implemented in 2009, has rewritten the European Union’s basic rules, first enshrined in the 1957 Treaty of Rome. The treaty introduces a considerable number of innovations that are relevant to the United States and likely to affect U.S.citizens and U.S.interests.¹

      The Lisbon Treaty enhances the European Union’s (the Union’s) profile and powers in the foreign policyfield; in the areas of justice, freedom, and homeland security; defense, diplomacy and development; and in trade and regulatory matters. New provisions boost the Union’s purview on civil protection, humanitarian aid, and public health. For the first time, the...

    • 14 Relations between the EU and Latin America and the Caribbean: Competition or Cooperation with the United States?
      (pp. 237-246)

      Modern Latin America and the Caribbean trace their roots, history, political culture, languages, and predominant religion to the “Old Continent.” Consequently, there should not be a more fertile spot for the installation of the model of regional integration developed by the European Union during the past half a century.¹ Latin America and the Caribbean would be ideal candidates to receive the greatest attention from Europe and its institutions, resulting in solid integration systems mirroring the European Union.² However, the reality is that this would be an uneven political marriage. Their commercial exchanges are comparatively limited, while regional integration in Latin...

    • 15 EU-Canada Relations: Toward a Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement?
      (pp. 247-255)

      This chapter deals with the relationship between the European Union and Canada, both bilaterally and in a wider context, providing a brief historical overview of the development of the relationship and a discussion of various tensions, or “irritants,” as they are called.¹ Based on trade shares, the relationship is asymmetrical, with Canada having a relatively greater interest in developing freer trade and more cooperation than the EU. The United States is the most significant third party affecting the relationship because of its importance for both Canada and the EU.²

      The EU-Canadian relationship is a bilateral one that is also embedded...

    • 16 The European Union in Africa: In Search of a Strategy
      (pp. 256-269)

      The relationship between the European Union and Africa has undergone major changes since the beginning of the twenty-first century. First, the Cotonou Agreement, adopted in June 2000, brought transformations to the long-standing relationship between the EU and the African, Caribbean, and Pacific (ACP) group of countries, particularly in the areas of foreign aid, trade, and political affairs. These transformations put a further strain on the partnership that had characterized the Lomé Convention, at least in its initial period. Unsurprisingly, by the end of the 2010s not only was the significance of the EUACP development framework questioned, but the relevance of...

    • 17 Toward Policy Coherence: The European Union’s Regional and Bilateral Approaches to East Asia
      (pp. 270-280)

      With the ratification of the Lisbon Treaty, the European Union (EU) seeks to be a more coherent foreign policy actor. It currently faces challenges in achieving not only coherence and consistency in its approach to East Asian policy but also personality coherence and task coherence in projecting itself as an effective regional interlocutor with East Asia. It currently is a regional actor with the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), the major regional grouping, and a bilateral actor in relations with individual Asian nations. Engagement with East Asia is increasingly more multidimensional, comprising trade, investment, development, market access, humanitarian assistance,...

    • 18 The EU-China Relationship: From Cooperation to Strategic Partnership
      (pp. 281-290)

      The relationship between the European Union and China has developed in depth and extent over the past thirty years. Many points of disagreement as well as many important achievements have punctuated its evolution. The relationship was triggered in the 1970s by the Chinese interest in the birth and development of the new political entity: an integrated Europe. It grew in the 1990s, as the European Commission became concerned with protecting and consolidating European interests in an evolving East Asia. The idea was to have these interests materialize through “an action-oriented, not a merely declaratory” policy aimed at what was becoming...

  8. Part IV Promoting Values and Models Abroad

    • 19 The European Union as a Model Power: Spreading Peace, Democracy, and Human Rights in the Wider World
      (pp. 293-305)

      The principles of human rights, peace, and democracy have been deeply embedded in the European integration experiment since its inception. The triad reflects the intrinsic core values of the European project’s ontology and teleology. As the process of integration crystallized, respect for human rights as well as promotion of democracy and peace became concrete goals guiding the European Union’s foreign policy actions and tools. More recently, since European reunification, with the return of the Central and Eastern European states to the coveted ideational fold of liberal democracy, this trend was consolidated with the European Union’s move from a regional to...

    • 20 U.S. and EU Strategies for Promoting Democracy
      (pp. 306-322)

      The strategies of the United States and the European Union for promoting democracy are part of the “international dimension” of democratization, which refers to all of the external factors that can influence democratic changes in domestic political regimes, such as transnational and regional events, NGOs, states, and other international actors. Initially, democratization studies gave no importance to external factors in explaining the causes of the democratic transitions that occurred in Southern Europe and Latin America between 1974 and 1989.¹ It was only with the fall of the Berlin Wall, the breakdown of the Soviet Union, and the end of the...

  9. Part V Conclusion

    • 21 The Open Question of an EU Foreign Policy
      (pp. 325-336)

      The first edition of this book concludes that, despite legislative and institutional developments, the foreign policy of the European Union (EU) cannot be assessed as national foreign policy. While the Lisbon Treaty has been promoted as a step in that direction, the question remains whether these expectations have come true after its implementation. In the two years since the adoption of the Lisbon Treaty, has the EU been able to formulate a unified foreign policy? If so, is it better equipped to respond to contemporary challenges?

      So far, the record remains mixed, and the great expectations of two years ago...

  10. Contributors
    (pp. 337-338)
  11. Index
    (pp. 339-366)
  12. Back Matter
    (pp. 367-367)