The Foreign Policy of the European Union

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

Federiga Bindi editor
Copyright Date: 2010
Pages: 367
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  • Book Info
    The Foreign Policy of the European Union
    Book Description:

    In a relatively short time, the European Union has become one of the world's most powerful and important bodies. Its critical role in international affairs extends to several different areas: economics; culture; the environment; and, of course, international security and foreign affairs. This important volume explains and evaluates EU foreign policy in all its confusing dimensions.

    Is there really any such thing as "European Union Foreign Policy"? If so, what is it? What are its goals and priorities, and how effective is it? How do outsiders perceive EU foreign policy, and what are the ramifications of those views? Those are just some of the questions this book tries to answer.

    In order to draw the most comprehensive picture possible of EU foreign policy, Federiga Bindi and her contributors dissect both "horizontal" and "vertical" issues. Vertical concerns focus on particular geographic regions, such as the EU's foreign policy toward Africa and Asia and its relations with the United States. Horizontal issues explore wider crosscutting themes that help explain the EU's foreign policy choices and operations, such as decisionmaking processes and procedures; European self-identity; and core priorities such as peace, democracy, and human rights.


    Foreword by Giuliano Amato, former foreign minister and prime minister of Italy

    Part I. The New Tools of EU Foreign Policy

    II. US-EU Relations after the Elections

    III. EU Relations with the Rest of the Americas

    IV. Africa and Asia

    V. The EU and Its Neighbors

    VI. The EU, the Mediterranean, and the Middle East

    VII. Promoting Values and Models Abroad

    VIII. Conclusions: Assessing EU Foreign Policy

    eISBN: 978-0-8157-0463-8
    Subjects: Political Science

Table of Contents

  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-iv)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. v-viii)
  3. Foreword
    (pp. ix-xvi)
    Giuliano Amato

    In July 2008,The Economistheadlined one of its issues “What a way to run the world.”¹ It featured the tower of Babel on the cover, indicating that today the world is run by a Babel power, with everything in contradiction with everything else. The image of this new tower of Babel raises the question, what is the nature of the contemporary world? When asked to answer this question, most “experts” resort to the “in a rapidly changing world” explanation, according to which our world is one of perpetual change: the price of oil fluctuates wildly; climate conditions are rapidly...

  4. Introduction
    (pp. 1-10)

    Is the concept of a European Union (EU) foreign policy paradoxical, as Jan Zielonka claims?¹ According to Zielonka, the EU wants to become a powerful international actor without becoming a superstate in the process; it hopes to have a strong impact on Europe and the rest of the world, without basing these aspirations on a well-defined and consistent strategy. Its numerous aims include the prevention and management of conflicts, but little has been done to incorporate a military dimension into its foreign policy.

    The history of European integration makes it clear that the European Economic Community/European Union (EEC/EU) has always...

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

    • 1 European Union Foreign Policy: A Historical Overview
      (pp. 13-40)

      In 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 purpose...

    • 2 The New EU Foreign Policy under the Treaty of Lisbon
      (pp. 41-50)

      The Common Foreign and Security Policy (CFSP) was undoubtedly one of the “hottest areas” of the constitutional process in the European Union between 2002 and 2007. The final balance remains ambiguous. The Lisbon Treaty introduces important CFSP innovations, but it limits them through a series of prerogatives. It is worth focusing on these elements in order to better understand their implications. In so doing, this chapter first defines the position of the CFSP in the communitarian policies. It then focuses on the substantial innovations brought to the CFSP and concludes by addressing the pros and cons of the Lisbon Treaty’s...

    • 3 European Security and Defense Policy: From Taboo to a Spearhead of EU Foreign Policy?
      (pp. 51-72)

      Quite surprisingly, the European Security and Defense Policy (ESDP) has emerged in the past decade as one of the spearheads of the EU’s foreign policy and a main asset in the EU’s foreign policy toolbox. Even more, the ESDP has 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 2007 Lisbon Treaty ratified. In the space of merely a few years, the EU...

    • 4 Justice and Home Affairs as a New Tool of European Foreign Policy
      (pp. 73-81)

      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.

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

    • 5 Competition Policy as a Tool of EU Foreign Policy: Multilateralism, Bilateralism, and Soft Convergence
      (pp. 82-98)

      Signed in Rome on March 25, 1957, the treaty establishing the European Economic Community (hereafter the “Rome Treaty”) was designed to achieve a unified market across the six founding member countries. The belief was that after two world wars that originated in Europe, economic integration would be the most effective way to avoid wars and conflicts. A solution briefly discussed after the end of the war was to force Germany to become an agricultural country. The influence of Hans Kelsen, a professor of international law and one of the most important legal scholars of the twentieth century, prevailed and led...

    • 6 The European Neighborhood Policy: Assessing the EU’s Policy toward the Region
      (pp. 99-116)

      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...

  6. Part II. The European Union and Its Neighbors

    • 7 The European Union and Russia: Past, Present, and Future of a Difficult Relationship
      (pp. 119-132)

      The collapse of the USSR, the dissolution of the Eastern bloc, and the fifth enlargement of the European Union have radically changed the political map of the “old continent.” Today, “political Europe” consists of the enlarged EU, taking in three former Soviet republics and seven central European “satellites”; a few additional countries, which in some cases are candidates or potential candidates for EU membership (such as Croatia, the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Turkey, Albania, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Montenegro, Serbia, and Kosovo); and Russia, which has not made clear to what degree it views itself as a European power.

      Following the admission...

    • 8 EU Policy toward Ukraine and Belarus: Diverging Paths?
      (pp. 133-147)

      This chapter investigates the role of the European Union in Ukraine and Belarus.¹ Despite sharing a Soviet past, the two countries have taken different paths since the disintegration of the Soviet Union. While Ukraine has opted for transformation and modernization, looking increasingly westward, Belarus has remained the only truly communist country in Europe, maintaining close links with Moscow and reluctantly espousing Europeanization. Although both countries are included in the European Neighborhood Policy (ENP), the EU’s leverage is very limited. This is the case not only because the EU has excluded for the moment the prospect of membership, but also because...

    • 9 The Balkans and the European Union
      (pp. 148-154)

      The consternation and sense of horror caused by the crises that overwhelmed the former Yugoslavia for so long in the early 1990s are still vivid in Europe’s collective memory. Those events have by no means been forgotten, nor have the impotence and the lack of preparation with which the European Union addressed them between June 1991 and October 1995.

      It was not until the negotiation of the Dayton peace accords, between February 1996 and April 1997, that the EU began to draw up a wide-ranging strategy, opening up “a European perspective” for all the countries in the area. The EU...

    • 10 EU Enlargement: The Challenge and Promise of Turkey
      (pp. 155-168)

      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 faced by the Lisbon Treaty. At present there are three candidate countries: Turkey and Croatia, which started accession negotiations in 2005, and the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM), which has not yet started the accession negotiations. There are also five potential candidate countries: Albania,...

    • 11 The EU and the Mediterranean Nonmember States
      (pp. 169-182)

      The European Neighborhood Policy (ENP), established in 2004, deals 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, nor are all of the new or old neighbors dealt with by the new policy.

      It is interesting to note that the enlarged EU has 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 of countries in the...

    • 12 The EU and the Middle East
      (pp. 183-196)

      The European Union has traditionally considered the Mediterranean third countries (MTCs) as strategic partners. However, several political, economic, and institutional constraints have rendered the adoption of a clear EU Mediterranean policy a difficult endeavor. The Euro-Mediterranean Partnership (EMP) and the European Neighborhood Policy (ENP) are depicted by the European institutions as two complementary wings of the EMP. Yet they use specific concepts that reflect different approaches to Euro-Mediterranean relations: “partnership” lies in fact at the basis of the EMP, while “neighborhood” is the basis of the ENP. This is not just a terminological phenomenon. It rather reflects a change in...

    • 13 Is Sarkozy’s Union for the Mediterranean Going to Work?
      (pp. 197-200)
      Khalid Emara

      Attempts to develop North-South cooperation among countries around the Mediterranean can be traced back to the early 1970s. Cooperation agreements were then offered by the European Community (EC) to southern Mediterranean countries, and in 1975 the Euro-Arab dialogue was launched with two objectives. It was an attempt to find both a permanent solution to the Arab-Israeli conflict and a platform for Europe to handle the consequences of the first global oil crisis.¹

      In the early 1980s a Euro-Mediterranean policy started to emerge. During this period, one could detect a growing interest both in the North and the South in developing...

  7. Part III. Relations between the EU and Other Countries

    • 14 U.S.-EU Relations: Putting the Bush Years in Perspective
      (pp. 203-208)

      In taking a big picture view, this chapter challenges the conventional wisdom about the transatlantic relationship during the George Bush Jr. years, which is that transatlantic relations were in bad shape or disarray. That claim, which is 100 percent incorrect, has three parts to it.

      First, it is often said that in the “good old days” of the cold war transatlantic relations were good, that Europe and America had a common purpose, and that they showed great unity because there was a common threat. After the end of the cold war in 1989, Europe and the United States did not...

    • 15 Economics and Security: A Reversed Alliance
      (pp. 209-219)

      A “rebound” in the Euro-American dialogue has come sooner than expected, but brings with it a paradoxical risk in transatlantic relations. In a sense, the post–George W. Bush era began without waiting for his successor. Europe, however, may not be ready to seize the opportunity and exploit the more promising climate: the European Union seems to be—again—in an introverted mood following the rather frustrating post-Lisbon “pause for reflection” and a deep economic recession. Americans, for their part, are gripped by their own economic crisis and their attempt to sort out (and get out of) two complicated wars....

    • 16 Relations between the EU and Latin America and the Caribbean: Competition or Cooperation with the United States?
      (pp. 220-229)

      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...

    • 17 EU-Canada Relations: A Case of Mutual Neglect?
      (pp. 230-238)

      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 important 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...

    • 18 The EU in Africa: Increasing Coherence, Decreasing Partnership
      (pp. 239-252)

      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 and trade. These transformations not only ended a system of preferential treatment, but also put a strain on the traditional partnership that had characterized the Lomé Convention. Second, the EU-Africa summit held in Cairo in April 2000 marked the EU’s intention to pursue a continent-wide approach and...

    • 19 Regionalism, Interregionalism, and Bilateralism: The EU and the Asia-Pacific
      (pp. 253-262)

      The European Union attempts to project itself as an effective regional interlocutor with East Asia, and it actively encourages interregionalism. It projects itself as a regional actor with the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) and as a bilateral actor in relations with individual Asian nations. There is increasingly common ground between the EU and the East Asian countries, in an engagement that is becoming more multidimensional, comprising trade, investment, development, market access, and various aspects of foreign policy. Many shared values and global goals reinforce and extend the relationships, but only up to a point, owing to problems related...

    • 20 The EU-China Relationship: From Cooperation to Strategic Partnership
      (pp. 263-270)

      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 represented by 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 them materialize through “an action-oriented, not a merely declaratory” policy aimed at what was...

  8. Part IV. Promoting Values and Models Abroad

    • 21 EU Integration and Other Integration Models
      (pp. 273-289)

      Comparing the process of regional integration in the world and in history is a complex matter. Attempts at regional economic integration precede the Second World War. They existed in the nineteenth century, particularly in Europe, and were concerned with the birth and consolidation of nation-states (Germany, Italy) and the realization of monetary unions designed to facilitate trade without any economic integration (Latin monetary union, Scandinavian monetary union). These experiences, mainly monetary, are instructive for contemporary process integrators. They have developed simultaneously in the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT) and the World Trade Organization (WTO) and in harmony with...

    • 22 Human Rights, Peace, and Democracy: Is “Model Power Europe” a Contradiction in Terms?
      (pp. 290-302)

      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, the respect for human rights as well as the 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...

    • 23 U.S. and EU Strategies for Promoting Democracy
      (pp. 303-318)

      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...

    • 24 Perceptions of EU Foreign Policy outside Europe
      (pp. 319-336)

      With a foreign policy dimension being a relatively new addition to the arsenal of European Union actions and goals, scholarship on this topic is in its formative years, although already four distinct clusters of interlinked inquiries have emerged. The first combines insights into the Union’s performance and capabilities in the international arena (including the EU’s public diplomacy efforts).¹ The second explores the EU’s international identity in various discourses.² The third researches the EU’s roles and external expectations of these roles by its external interlocutors.³ And the fourth concerns the “auto-” and “xeno-” visions of the EU’s actions, roles, and goals,...

  9. Part V. Conclusion

    • 25 EU Foreign Policy: Myth or Reality?
      (pp. 339-348)

      The main message of this book is that although the foreign policy of the European Union has evolved and broadened in scope over the years, it remains a peculiar institution; it is neither a nation-state nor an intergovernmental organization. Even after much evolution, EU foreign policy cannot be assessed according to the terms of a national foreign policy. This chapter defines what EU foreign policy has come to mean and the terms on which it can be assessed. The point is to evaluate its efficiency and its capacity to deliver results for its member states and Europe’s population. Finally, the...

  10. Contributors
    (pp. 349-350)
  11. Index
    (pp. 351-367)
  12. Back Matter
    (pp. 368-369)