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EU foreign policy

With the entry into force of the Lisbon Treaty in 2009 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 evident. In the Balkans, the Horn of Africa (both offshore and onshore), the Sahel, or the Middle East, joint and combined forms of external action - including diplomacy, 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.

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    12August 2008

    The hostilities between Russia and Georgia reflect a lack of long-term strategic thinking on the part of Russia, which is jeopardising relations with the West in order to assert itself as a global power, as well a political climate of increasing nationalism in Georgia. Neither of these factors is constructive in resolving the conflicts over the breakaway regions of South Ossetia and Abkhazia.

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    30July 2008
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    Following Ireland’s ‘No’ to the Lisbon Treaty, echoing the French and Dutch voters’ rejection of the Constitutional Treaty in 2005, the EU needs to consider carefully how to win back citizens’ support and thus overcome the fears that are crippling its ability to shape world politics.

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    05June 2008

    The tension between interdependence and power politics will shape the future of the international system. It is in the interest of the European Union to engage established and aspiring global powers in a sustained dialogue on how to confront pressing common challenges.

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    28March 2008

    The newest ESDP mission to Kosovo is a display of unity by the European Union, focused on the goal of ensuring stability grounded on the rule of law, including strict respect for minority rights, in the newly-independent state. The EU must achieve its objective while remaining a magnet for Kosovars and at the same time for the Serbs.

  • 17March 2008

    On 17 March 2008, the Institute hosted a seminar where discussions focused on Serbia, Kosovo and Bosnia-Herzegovina respectively.

  • 07March 2008

    The Institute hosted a roundtable discussion where participants discussed the French-led proposal for a Union for the Mediterranean, revisited the principles, achievements and challenges of the existing Barcelona Process, and assessed evolving Euro-Mediterranean challenges.

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    03March 2008

    The debate over missile defence in Europe is likely to remain on the political agenda for the foreseeable future as discussions evolve on both sides of the Atlantic. This policy brief provides basic background information on missile defence and highlights some of the principal political and security aspects associated with missile defence in Europe.

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    18February 2008

    The fireworks were spectacular. The giant cake which was served on Mother Teresa street was pretty good and Kosovo’s declaration of independence and subsequent speeches so oozing with goodwill towards the new country’s minority Serbs that one could not but help suspect, as indeed many did, that Kosovo’s leaders had had a little, or in fact quite a lot, of help from their (foreign) friends in drafting them. But now, the deed is done. Kosovo’s Albanians have declared independence and a chapter which began in 1999 has officially been closed.

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    18February 2008

    ‘1973,’ declared Henry Kissinger in late April of that year, ‘is the year of Europe’—a time, he insisted, for the allies to join in ‘a fresh act of creation … equal to that undertaken by the postwar generation of leaders of Europe and America.’ Now, in 2008, we are on the eve of a new era that awaits the decisions that will define Europe and its relations with the United States after the departure of George W. Bush, Europe’s least-liked postwar US president, and take us beyond the war in Iraq, one of the most divisive issues in Euro-Atlantic relations ever.

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    01December 2007

    The European Neighbourhood Policy (ENP) framework obliges the EU to coordinate closely with Georgia on its policies for conflict resolution in the breakaway entities of Abkhazia and South Ossetia. Brussels and Tbilisi do not share the same time perspective, however.

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    01December 2003

    The South Caucasus contains three states that emerged after the collapse of the Soviet Union: Georgia, Armenia and Azerbaijan. Geographically, the region is populated by some fifteen million people, and links the Caspian Sea basin to the Black Sea on the east-to-west axis, and is the juncture between the greater Middle East, Turkey and Iran, and the Russian Federation.

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    01December 2003

    The main subject of this paper is a long-term analysis of the voting behaviour of the European Union (EU) member states in the General Assembly of the United Nations (UN). Data on voting in the General Assembly is readily available, although not always in machine-readable format.

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    01December 2003

    Space is a strategic asset, and its importance both in terms of technology and security cannot be overestimated.

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    01November 2003

    EU enlargement raises important questions: How much further can the EU enlarge? Should the EU encompass geographic ‘Europe’ or stop at the western border of the CIS? Article 49 of the Treaty on European Union (TEU) clearly allows any geographically based European state to apply for membership.

  • 01October 2003

    Three paradoxes characterise the Union's attitude to the rest of the world. The first is typical of post-Cold War realities: with very few exceptions, it is now much easier for the Europeans to agree a view on external crises than on American policy. Terrorism provides a classic example of this.

  • 01October 2003

    The idea of `returning to Europe' was the leitmotif of the revolutions of 1989. Now that eight of the ten Central and East European candidates are about to realise this ambition, the question becomes what sort of Europe it will be.

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    01September 2003

    This Chaillot Paper is the product of collegial reflection by the EUISS’s research team. The effects of the current enlargement process are already making themselves felt in not only the internal but also the external policies of the widening Union.

  • 01July 2003

    If measured against the questions raised in the Laeken Declaration of December 2001, the answers offered by the Convention on the Future of Europe cannot be considered satisfactory. However, Laeken is not the only benchmark for assessing the Convention's achievements.

  • 01July 2003

    For the first time in its history the European Union has set about drawing up a common strategic concept. This is a major event. From necessity during the Cold War and then from a lack of consensus, the Union left strategic thinking to the United States and member states. That has changed for two reasons: divided, Europe is powerless, and an enlarged Europe cannot afford to shirk its responsibilities

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    01July 2003

    In this Chaillot Paper, five European authors put forward their views on the role played by the European Union in attempts to resolve the Israeli-Palestinian conflict since the beginning of the intifada in September 2000.

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