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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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  • 01January 2006

    Negotiations on Kosovo's 'future status' are widely predicted to result in a transition to independence under international supervision. Meanwhile, Montenegro's government is preparing a referendum on independence in late spring. Many ask why the EU should tolerate further fragmentation that seems at odds with recent encouraging signs that the region is now ready to move forward to EU integration.

  • 01January 2006

    A l'encontre des perceptions des années 1990, une amélioration s'esquisse sur le continent africain. L'« afro-pessimisme » résultant de multiples conflits et de difficultés économiques récurrentes semble s'estomper au profit d'une prise en compte de l'hétérogénéité des situations africaines. Dans le sillage de ces évolutions, le Conseil de l'Union européenne des 15 et 16 décembre 2005 a adopté une nouvelle stratégie pour l'Afrique.

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    01January 2006

    The broader Middle Eastern region has become the central focus of U.S.-European diplomatic relations. Talks between senior European policymakers and U.S. officials are now often dominated by issues that arise from the threats to peace and stability that emanate from this troubled region. The Middle East looms equally large in public opinion on both sides of the Atlantic.

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    01January 2006

    Quand on aime, on ne compte pas, dit la sagesse populaire. A contrario donc, les batailles sévères entre Etats membres sur l’avenir du budget européen en disent long sur la double crise de confiance et de solidarité que traverse l’Union depuis plus de six mois. Au point que l’on peut se demander si ce sont bien les « non » français et néerlandais au référendum sur la Constitution qui ont déclenché la crise, ou s’ils n’ont été finalement que les déclencheurs ou les révélateurs d’une rupture plus profonde depuis longtemps présente dans la dynamique européenne.

  • 19December 2005

    The EUISS held a seminar in order to exchange information on the state of affairs in the countries of the Western Balkans on the eve of Kosovo status negotiations, and to assess the likely impact of the latter on the region.

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    01December 2005
    By

    Historically speaking, security and defence are late arrivals on the European agenda. But like all young things, the European security and defence policy is growing fast. We have put in place the necessary decision-making structures and launched a process to enhance European capabilities, which has been given fresh impetus with the creation of the European Defence Agency.

  • 02November 2005

    This note assesses the impact of the political crisis affecting the EU in the wake of the constitutional referenda, specifically with reference to the image and performance of the Union in the wider international world. The basic assumption is that the viability of CFSP and of EC external relations largely depends on the political cohesion of the EU.

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    26October 2005
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    In November 2004, the EU set forth a new framework for policy towards Belarus. The regional context around Belarus has since changed dramatically, with an enlarged EU, a 'revolutionary' Ukraine, a more defensive Russia and more active US. EU policy may be strengthened to reflect and work with these changes.

  • 16October 2005

    Groucho Marx famously stated that he would never join a club that would accept him as a member. Today, the Turkish leadership might be well advised to take the same approach to the European Union (EU). Membership for the sake of it should not be the objective. Accession will only succeed when the Union is confident enough to welcome Turkey among its members.

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    01October 2005

    Alors que la crise européenne s’installe dans la durée, c’est au tour des Etats-Unis de connaître une crise similaire, de gouvernance et de confiance, qui fait de Katrina, selon la très juste formule de Karl Kaiser, un phénomène géopolitique de première ampleur.

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    01June 2002

    All three Central European candidates for EU membership have gone through an evolutionary (and learning) process as regards the development of ESDP: from scepticism and worry – that it could undermine NATO – to qualified acceptance and more direct involvement.

  • 14May 2002

    Tous les alliés européens de Washington sont perplexes, voire inquiets, devant les évolutions stratégiques des Etats-Unis, et en particulier devant leur attitude à l'égard de l'Otan. Ils constatent en effet que l'unilatéralisme américain, cette méfiance envers toute démarche et institutions multilatérales, s'applique aussi à l'égard de l'Otan, qui était jusque-là perçue comme l'organisation internationale favorite de Washington

  • 01May 2002

    Europeans spend much less than Americans on defence but are quite ready to engage in crisis management in so far as it entails a strong commitment to peace-building, especially (but not exclusively) in their immediate neighbourhood. Their political, financial and military presence in the Balkans - under different flags - is a good case in point. Comparing EU and US military budgets is therefore misleading and to a certain extent unfair:....

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    01May 2002

    Par la résolution 1 244 du Conseil de Sécurité, pour la première fois dans l’Histoire, les Nations unies se sont vu confier au Kosovo à partir du mois de juin 1999 une mission d’un nouveau type, visant non plus simplement à maintenir la paix mais à la construire, dans toutes ses dimensions, politique, démocratique, administrative, juridique, économique…

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    01May 2002

    The world has never known a power such as the United States. Consequently, Europe cannot expect the United States to be anything other than unilateralist. America is simply too powerful. What matters, therefore, is the nature of American unilateralism.

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    01May 2002

    Many observers have mocked the divisions among Europeans, their absence and therefore their impotence, in the search for a solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. But that is to forget that it is above all the strongest player who lacks the will to act, and that today it is in particular in the European theatre that the Union’s performance, or lack of it, should be judged.

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    01April 2002

    This is the second volume in our special series of Chaillot Papers presenting core documents on the EU’s security and defence policy. Unlike the first volume, which focused on the whole period from St-Malo to Nice (December 1998 - December 2000), this volume and subsequent ones will recapitulate developments regarding ESDP during the preceding year.

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    01April 2002

    This paper collects the papers delivered by a group of mostly young researchers from the ten Central European candidate countries in response to a grid of common questions submitted to them by the Institute for Security Studies in 2001. The considerations that follow summarize the main results of the project, compare the national views, and put them in a broader political context.

  • 28March 2002

    Che l'Unione europea non sia una potenza comparabile agli Stati Uniti risulta evidente dai fatti, a cominciare dal gap crescente - tecnologico e di bilancio - fra gli investimenti militari delle due sponde dell'Atlantico. Che neanche debba porsi l'obiettivo di emulare gli Stati Uniti è invece meno evidente.

  • 13March 2002

    One of the most striking examples of the potential for new transatlantic solidarity after the September 11 terrorist attacks was the publication by the French newspaper Le Monde, not known to be reflexively pro-American, of an editorial entitled "We are all Americans." The degree to which that solidarity has now dissipated was illustrated by a rather different headline in that same newspaper five months later: "Has the United States gone crazy?"...

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