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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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    28October 2014

    This Brief assesses the new setup of the European Commission and the role of the high representative for foreign affairs and security policy and vice-president (HR/VP). What structural challenges lie ahead? And how can the Commission help facilitate the work of the HR/VP?

  • 28October 2014

    Das EUISS Yearbook of European Security (YES) 2014 stellt als jährliche Publikation des Instituts Schlüsseldokumente und -daten der Gemeinsamen Außen- und Sicherheitspolitik (GASP) und der Gemeinsamen Sicherheits- und Verteidigungspolitik (GSVP) der EU zusammen.

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    28October 2014

    If Myanmar today is on the path towards democratic transition, it is also due to the involvement of the European Union. This Brief maps the EU’s efforts to support the peace process in the country, highlighting how it is an original and efficient example of preventive diplomacy in action.

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    10October 2014

    This Alert outlines some initial lessons which can already be drawn from the crisis in Ukraine. Dispelling certain commonly held assumptions about the origins of the current conflict, it also outlines how the EU could move forward with crafting policies towards its eastern neighbours.

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    07October 2014

    This Brief explores the hitherto unimplemented provision of the Lisbon Treaty. What procedures would allow for an Article 44 operation to take place? And what can be done to assuage any concerns associated with the use of the Article?

  • 09September 2014

    La version abrégée du Yearbook of European Security (YES) en français propose des faits, données, chronologies, documents et cartes essentiels à la compréhension de la politique de sécurité de l’Union européenne au cours de l’année 2013.

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    29August 2014

    This compendium offers the busy expert on the go a limited selection of the main types of ‘strategic’ documents released by the EU in order to highlight the developments that have occurred in this domain over the past few years.

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    25July 2014

    This Alert by the EUISS Director outlines how a more fitting internal modus operandi for the Commission could be established, in particular with regard to foreign policy matters. And with defence topping the EU’s agenda last year, might it also be time to create a dedicated commissioner with specific responsibilities for security- and defence-related industry and markets and research?

  • 24June 2014

    On 24 June 2014, the EUISS co-hosted a transatlantic workshop on EU-US approaches to Africa with the German Marshall Fund of the United States at the Institut's Paris Headquarters.

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    13June 2014

    Trade has often been touted as an area where Washington and European capitals – with a little help from Brussels – could create common ground. While regulatory challenges abound, what role does energy play in the proposed Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership?

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  • 07December 2012

    The decison to award the European Union with the Nobel Peace Prize has both elicted praise and caused controversy. Yet rather than a reward for the present, the prize must be seen as a recognition for the past and an encouragement for the future.

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    30November 2012

    This policy brief looks at the prospects for the proposed EU training mission in Mali and examines what lessons might be learned from the EU’s previous contribution to international peacekeeping efforts in Somalia as well as the exent to which the fragile security situation in Northern Mali has the potential to become another Afghanistan.

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    30October 2012

    In recent years, non-state actors (NSAs) have become an important part of the EU’s policy-making process regarding the conflict. This paper examines a group of actors that, although under-researched, play a significant role in the formulation and evolution of EU external policy.

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    16October 2012

    In collaboration with the Indian Council of World Affairs (ICWA), the EUISS has produced a paper which features detailed proposals for advancing India-EU relations within the bilateral and multilateral dimensions of the Strategic Partnership.

  • 06September 2012

    Europe has often been criticised for not speaking with a common voice on the global stage, for being inefficient at explaining itself to the outside world, and for becoming old-fashioned, bypassed by emerging powers, and lagging behind as a cultural reference to other societies. How to ensure that Europe again becomes a leading force in promoting universal democratic values and human rights, and asserting itself as a global rule-maker against tyrannies and imperialism? 

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    25July 2012

    Europe's financial crisis has allowed Russia to expand its already substantial influence in the Mediterranean. Russian involvement in regional bailouts, energy deals and shifting alliances means that EU now faces a difficult balancing act in an area of strategic importance.

  • 23July 2012

    The long-anticipated statement that American and European officials have been talking about for months has finally emerged. Announced on the sidelines of the ASEAN Regional Forum (ARF) on July 12, 2012, the statement puts an end to the political toing and froing that both sides of the Atlantic have been engaged in for the past several months. What should come next are concrete actions. 

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    09July 2012

    he latest wave of European military spending cuts is swelling the ranks of Americans who believe that Europeans are not contributing enough to global security. But this assessment is too harsh. It is true that Europeans spend less on defence than their American counterparts. They have also been less willing to use force in recent years. But the US itself is reassessing the merit of its military interventions over the last decade.

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    27June 2012

    This Occasional Paper examines one of the ‘forgotten conflicts’, between the ‘Moros’ and the Philippine State, highlighting the EU's gradual move from the humanitarian and development arena towards a more explicitly political role in the peace process, in close cooperation with its Member States and with European NGOs.

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    12June 2012

    For the moment, the US presence in the Asia Pacific region provi­des regional and extra-regional actors, including the EU, with security and stability that enable free naviga­tion, trade flows, peaceful development, and avoidance of violent conflicts or confrontations. But how can the EU assume a more active and strategic role in the region?

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