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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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  • 12March 2001

    A seminar entitled ‘Police for Peacebuilding: what role for the EU?’, took place in Paris on 12 March 2001 (Maartje Rutten). The aim of the seminar was to look at the process of establishing the EU pool of 5,000 police officers. The discussions centred on lessons learned from previous involvement of police in crisis management operations, the specific challenges for the EU in assembling police and ideas for enhancing implementation of the EU plans in this field. Participants comprised representatives from the EU Committee for Civil Aspects of Crisis Management, the Situation Centre/Crisis Cell at the Secretariat General at the EU Council of Ministers, the EU Military Staff, Europol, UN, OSCE, WEU, Gendarmerie and Carabinieri, in addition to many academics.

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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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    01March 2000

    This paper is about the potential consequences for European security of extending EU border policies to central and eastern Europe (CEE), a process currently taking place as the European Union moves towards eastward enlargement. Its central argument is that an inherent tension is growing between EU internal and external security policies in the region to its East.

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