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Global views on the European Union

01 November 2004
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The European Security Strategy of December 2003 and the draft Constitutional Treaty, adopted in October 2004, define the EU’s new global role. The European Union is determined to fight against major threats and challenges globally, strengthen security in its neighbourhood and contribute to an international order based on effective multilateralism. In order to grasp external reactions towards that new global role, the EUISS invited a number of distinguished academics, experts and former diplomats from key partner countries to present their views on the EU. Authors from Africa (Senegal, South Africa), Latin America (Brazil, Mexico), Asia (China, Japan) and the Pacific (New Zealand), as well as one author who adopts an overall Asian perspective, have contributed to this volume. The main conclusion is that the EU’s new global projection is perceived positively. External observers praise the EU’s efforts in development aid and peacekeeping, endorse the idea of effective multilateralism, and even desire an increased EU presence in their respective countries and regions. Contributions in this volume lead to further reflection, as suggested in its conclusion. By rejecting the traditional military ‘balance of power’ philosophy, the EU rather favours a cooperative approach to international relations. Moreover, the EU constitutes the culmination of a successful regional integration process, which represents a useful example for other regions. The EU could therefore contribute to other ‘region-building’ efforts, and, in particular, establish interregional dialogues on security matters with a view to sharing the lessons of the European experience.