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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.


  • 27January 2004

    Ancora in un'intervista rilasciata tempo fa al Corriere della sera, il premier francese Jean- Pierre Raffarin insisteva sull'alternativa fra il varo più rapido possibile del trattato costituzionale per l'Ue e il lancio - descritto come quasi inevitabile - dei cosiddetti «gruppi pionieri» dell'integrazione.

  • 22January 2004

    The Bertelsmann Foundation has convened a European task force on Iraq, whose main aim is to assess a possible EU involvement in the political reconstruction of that country

  • 20January 2004

    Il Medio Oriente, il ruolo della Russia, le minoranze etniche oltre confine e i Balcani. Un'agenda per la Pesc che verrà. L'allargamento progressivo della Comunità prima e dell'Unione Europea poi è stato un grande successo economico e politico.

  • 20January 2004

    «Tre donne intorno al cor ...» - potrebbe essere questo il motto con cui Romano Prodi, il 1 maggio prossimo, accoglierà i nuovi commissari europei che entreranno a far parte del collegio da lui presieduto. I nuovi dieci membri dell'Unione hanno infatti diritto a nominare ciascuno un commissario, portando così la composizione del collegio a 30 membri, anche se solo fino al 1 novembre prossimo.

  • 15January 2004

    2003 was a difficult year for the EU - and so was its epilogue at the European Council held in Brussels in mid-December. Paradoxically, however, 2003 was a positive year for ESDP.

  • 12January 2004

    On 12 January, the Institute organised a ‘brainstorming’ seminar on flexibility for ESDP that reviewed the latest developments in the Intergovernmental Conference as well as the Council.

  • 01January 2004

    A few months and a couple of Newsletters ago, we described the outcome of the European Convention as 'half full'. After the failure of the Intergovernmental Conference to finalise a constitutional treaty for the EU, the contrary seems almost inevitable: never before, in fact, has an IGC ended in failure.

  • 01January 2004

    Il 2003 e' stato un anno difficile per l'Unione Europea, fra crisi irachena, crisi del Patto di stabilita' per l'euro, e crisi della Conferenza Intergovernativa (CIG) che avrebbe dovuto varare la nuova "Costituzione"...

  • 01January 2004

    One year after the war in Iraq, the EU is still confronted with two major challenges. The first is in Iraq itself, where the US strategy of stabilisation and democratisation is encountering dramatic setbacks. The second challenge arises from the growing terrorist threat to Western interests and citizens, as seen in the terrible attacks in Madrid on 11 March.

  • 23December 2003

    Par ces temps de troubles transatlantiques et d'imbroglios institutionnels à la CIG, l'adoption prochaine par les chefs d'Etat européens d'une stratégie de sécurité commune mérite d'être saluée. Sous l'égide de Javier Solana, les empoignades récentes entre les vingt-cinq sur la stratégie américaine de frappes préemptives, la légalité de l'usage de la force, l'intervention militaire en Irak, se sont transmuées en quelques mois et quelques pages en une véritable vision européenne commune du monde et du rôle de l'Union dans le monde.