An agency of the EU


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.


  • Crisis rooms – Towards a global network?

    In recent years, the EU’s crisis management policy has gradually broadened in range and scope, as it seeks to adapt its response mechanisms to the increasingly complex crises facing the world today. This book brings together key elements from an international conference devoted to challenges and opportunities for cooperation between crisis rooms that was organised by the European External Action Service in December 2013.

  • Why Africa matters

    This Alert examines EU-Africa relations in light of the recent high-level summit held in Brussels. What are the expectations of both partners? And how can a deeper, more comprehensive bilateral relationship be achieved?

  • No TTIP-ing point for European defence?

    Although the proposed Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) will not directly cover to the defence sector, dual-use goods and technologies are increasingly blurring the lines between defence and civilian commercial realms. What impact will the TTIP have on small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) that operate in the European defence sector, and what of the future of the European Defence Technological and Industrial Base?

  • The EU and Brazil: a natural partnership?

    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.