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Research Report

A strategy for EU foreign policy

Álvaro de Vasconcelos
Esra Bulut
Nicola Casarini
Sabine Fischer
Giovanni Grevi
Damien Helly
Juha Jokela
Daniel Keohane
Erwan Lannon
Rouzbeh Parsi
Luis Peral
Jacques Rupnik
Álvaro de Vasconcelos
Paulo Wrobel
Marcin Zaborowski
Jean Pascal Zanders
Copyright Date: Jun. 1, 2010
Pages: 86
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Table of Contents

  1. (pp. 12-14)
    Álvaro de Vasconcelos

    Each year the EUISS research team selects what will most likely be the international development of the greatest magnitude and significance, from the point of view of the EU. This topic becomes the central theme and focus of our yearly report. Last year, the radical change in US foreign policy ushered in by the advent of the Obama administration was the theme of our first annual report. In 2010, we believe that the key development is the entry into force of the Lisbon Treaty, following its ratification last November. We therefore dedicate this report to a discussion of how to...

  2. (pp. 15-24)

    The Lisbon Treaty clearly sets forth the values that should inform and the principles that should guide EU external action. There is now a need to discuss the political implications of the treaty’s provisions in order to ensure that a distinctive principled, values-based foreign and security policy – recognised as such by EU citizens and the world at large – will translate into concrete action.

    The TEU reaffirms [article 21] that the EU foreign and security policy is guided by ‘the principles that have inspired its own creation, development and enlargement, and which it seeks to advance in the wider...

  3. (pp. 25-36)

    The ongoing transition from the post-Cold War international system to a new one, marked by the redistribution of power at the global level and deep interdependence, needs to be matched by the reform of the multilateral order. Making multilateral structures more effective and more legitimate is both a matter of principle and a question of interest for the EU.

    The Treaty of Lisbon clearly states that the action of the Union on the international scene is to be guided by the principles that have inspired its own creation, development and enlargement, which the EU seeks to advance in the wider...

  4. (pp. 37-49)

    The first priority of EU foreign policy is Europe itself – the continent – and its immediate neighbourhood. This is also the region where its tools as a civilian power are most effective and where soft power exercises greater attraction. Enlargement and neighbourhood policy, now under the same Commissioner, are the fundamental tools to achieve this objective but they will still depend on the ability of the Union to use the whole array of foreign and security policy instruments at its disposal to resolve conflicts and crises.

    The current context, however, makes it difficult for the EU to implement the...

  5. (pp. 50-64)

    EU foreign policy should be guided by the principle of universalism, thus based on horizontal policies, instruments and programmes which are predicated on the most objective assessment of circumstances. However, even in the absence of geographic priorities for external action, the EU needs to identify where and when the application of some of these horizontal tools can bear fruit. It thus needs to constantly define and adapt the specific content of its relations with each different region and country of the world. The future European External Action Service should provide continuous bottom-up analysis simultaneously to the EU institutions and Member...

  6. (pp. 65-77)

    The European Security Strategy (ESS) committed the EU to the pursuit of its foreign policy goals through ‘multilateral cooperation in international organisations and through partnerships with key actors’. The latter have since come to be referred to as strategic partners, which are identified in the ESS as the US, Russia, Japan, China, Canada and India. In recent years the EU has added Brazil and South Africa to the ranks of its strategic partners.

    According to the vision outlined in the ESS, the EU’s strategic partnerships are divided into three categories. The relationship with the United States is described in the...