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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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  • 08November 2004

    This seminar drew together experts to analyse and debate ‘failing states’ – long a matter of concern to policy-makers in the field of economic development, but now high on the international security agenda.

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    01November 2004

    Le nombre croissant et la complexité grandissante des situations de crise en Afrique, ainsi qu’un intérêt moins marqué de la communauté internationale pour la région au lendemain de la guerre froide, ont conduit de nombreux États et organisations africains à prendre des initiatives pour trouver des solutions à leurs propres problèmes.

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    01November 2004

    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.

  • 25October 2004

    Ce séminaire, organisé le 25 octobre 2004 à Paris, a fait le point sur le dialogue existant entre l’UE et les pays du Maghreb, et notamment la politique de voisinage de l’Union et le processus de Barcelone.

  • 21October 2004

    The EU's constitutional treaty is, in so far as it touches on foreign policy and common defence, an 'enabling' text. The treaties approved since the Maastricht Treaty (in 1992) have been mostly about constraining the general scope and function of the Union's foreign, security and defence policies. With the constitution, such constraints are either scrapped or the conditions for doing away with them in the future are set.

  • 01October 2004

    Turkey's long-standing relationship with the EU has from time to time been overshadowed by crises. However, there has never been a total breakdown in relations, and Turkey's bid for eventual EU membership has remained alive, if not always well. Now that the time for decisions has come, however, most political analysts expect a positive answer from the EU and the opening of formal accession negotiations some time in 2005.

  • 01October 2004

    Over the past few weeks the debate over Turkey's accession to the European Union has become more intense - and it is likely to continue well beyond the European Commission's report expected next week. In fact, although the pending decision by the European Council is 'only' about the opening of formal accession negotiations, the discussion has focused on the outcome (full EU membership) rather than the process itself.

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    01October 2004

    Lancée en 1999 au Conseil européen de Cologne, la PESD est sans conteste l’une des plus rapides « success stories » de l’Union européenne.

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    01October 2004

    The countries of the Western Balkans are moving on: from postwar reconstruction and stabilisation to consolidating democratic states, implementing economic reform, and preparing for EU accession. The EU has confirmed that ‘The future of the Balkans is within the European Union’, and all the states of the region now share that vision. Much can be learned from the Central and East European experiences of transition and integration, and the EU itself is better prepared than it was in the early 1990s.

  • 27September 2004

    The Institute organised this Conference in Paris to evaluate the potential implications of Turkish membership (or non-membership) for the EU’s security policy. Turkish officials and experts were also invited in order to engage in a common assessment of bilateral relations.

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    01May 2001

    In Europe, arms and dual-use exports raise complex questions. They fall between two policy spheres that are organised in a distinctly contrasting manner. On the one hand, they are an intrinsic part of commercial policy that lies within the exclusive competence of the European Community (EC). On the other hand, they come under the aegis of security and defence policy, a jealously guarded area of responsibility of the EU member states.

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    02April 2001

    Once again contradictory dynamics are upsetting the fragile balance in the southern Balkans. On one side is the democratisation of Croatia but above all that of Serbia; on the other, attempts by UCK extremists to destabilise Macedonia. Yesterday’s enemy, Serbia, is becoming today’s partner, whereas yesterday’s partner, the UCK, may become a real adversary in the endeavour to maintain stability in Kosovo and the region as a whole.

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    01March 2001

    Daniel Keohane explores the changing context of Irish defence policy in light of the rapid development of the CESDP. He touches on policy considerations germane to all EU member-states with a tradition of neutrality who are having to adjust to a new role in a changing world. Keohane also uses defence policy as a metaphor for the changing internal debate at a time when a strong and polemical discourse is underway about Ireland’s role in the wider world.

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    01November 2000

    During the Cold War, the Nordic countries tried to develop a political identity by being different from the rest of the bipolar European security order. After the end of the Cold War, this particular identity disappeared when the Nordic countries became involved in the great European security discourses, the most important one of which revolved around the concept of co-operative security.

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    01November 2000

    Since St-Malo, three revolutions in European military affairs have been under way: the first concerns Britain, the second the process of European political integration and the third the actual management of security in the post-Cold War world. That is the main thrust of this Chaillot Paper, whose author, Jolyon Howorth is without doubt one of the foremost historians and specialists in matters of European security.

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    01October 2000

    This paper attempts to evaluate the situation in South-Eastern Europe by focusing on two major sources of economic plight in the region and on the prospects for economic regeneration. One source of difficulties relates to the dissolution of former Yugoslavia. The wars in the region caused enormous pain and suffering that led to the deaths of a large number of people.

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    15July 2000

    Immigration is certainly not a risk in itself: European countries need the contribution made by immigrant workers, and it is desirable that Europe’s doors remain open in a concerted, controlled way. On the other hand, illegal immigration presents a double risk to the stability of European countries and the security of the clandestine immigrants, who often undertake this adventure at the risk of their lives.

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    01July 2000

    Over the last two years, two processes have considerably modified the European strategic landscape: the development of a common security and defence policy within the European Union on the one hand, and accelerated restructuring of defence industries on the other.

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    01June 2000

    Among the institutions which emerged during the crisis management phase in Bosnia-Herzegovina and Kosovo, the so-called Balkan Contact Group turned out to be the innovation with the greatest impact on European institutional structures.

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    01April 2000

    The more headway the Europeans make in the setting up of a true European Union defence capability, the more voices are heard in the United States that analyse, question, challenge or fear this new European ambition. Nothing, moreover, could be more natural, given that, in their serious intent, their scope and their unanimity, the decisions taken at Cologne and Helsinki signal a clear departure from the EU’s long tradition of politico-strategic non-existence.

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