In the wake of the 7th EU-Brazil summit held on 24 February, this Alert examines the EU-Brazil partnership at a critical juncture. Brazil’s future as an emerging power seems currently threatened by flagging economic performance and massive countrywide protests, leading the country to partially withdraw from its proactive foreign policy posture, while the EU’s own domestic concerns are overshadowed by troublesome events in its wider neighbourhood.
With the signing of the Lisbon Treaty in 2010 and its subsequent implementation, the European Union has gradually assembled the constituent elements of a sui generis ‘foreign policy’, bringing together various competencies, instruments and resources that were hitherto spread across different institutions and bodies. Although the process is still on-going and progress is, in parts, uneven, certain traits of a more coherent common approach to foreign policy-making are now clearly evident.
In the Balkans, the Horn of Africa (both offshore and onshore) or the Sahel, joint and combined forms of external action — including enlargement, CSDP and development activities — are now producing more effective and lasting results.
Analysing the specific actors, instruments, policies, and strategies at the disposal of the Union and assessing their scope and outreach is also a way to illustrate what the EU does in the world — something which is not always known or appreciated by those who directly benefit from its external action, or indeed by European citizens at large. Monitoring performance, in turn, also contributes to improving it, in a constructive manner and on the basis of factual evidence.
In light of the negotiations set to begin on a Political Dialogue and Cooperation Agreement between the EU and Cuba, this alert – the first of its kind dealing with a country in Latin America – advocates the adoption of a new strategy towards the isolated island nation and highlights how, this time, there are good reasons to be hopeful of success.
With the next EU-Russia Summit fast approaching, this brief assesses the cooperative, yet competitive, nature of the relationship between Brussels and Moscow. With the ongoing spats over the countries in the EU’s eastern neighbourhood – and the absence of grands projets – how is it possible to deepen relations further?
This alert explores the EU’s security engagement in Somalia. It highlights the fact that, despite its sizeable financial contribution to the force, the EU does not have leverage on AMISOM’s operational command or its troop architecture. EU tools are not currently being used to their full potential in the country and their eventual effectiveness is ultimately dependent on other partners’ efforts.