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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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    06May 2013

    On 30 April 2013, the ECHR ruled that Yulia Tymoshenko had been subjected to arbitrary and unlawful detention before her trial in 2011. Yet, even if Tymoshenko’s case epitomises much of what is currently wrong with Ukraine’s politics, the problems facing the country are complex and cannot be reduced to the (mis)treatment of one politician.

  • 04May 2013

    The EUISS marked Europe Day by participating in the Open Doors Day organised by the European Council on Saturday 4 May in Brussels.

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    29April 2013

    Quatorze ans après la fin de la guerre, le récent accord du 19 avril normalise pour la première fois les relations entre la Serbie et le Kosovo. Il représente une étape décisive pour les deux parties vers l’intégration européenne et confirme également l’importance de l’action de l’UE dans la région des Balkans occidentaux.

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    22April 2013

    Budget cuts in the US are causing concerns not only because of their effect on security and defence spending, but also because of the particular way in which much of them are set to be administered. This brief argues that as a result of sequestration, the EU would do well to identify and take seriously its strategic interests and to invest in its own operational capabilities.

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    26March 2013

    The US ‘pivot’ towards Asia has generated debate in Europe about whether the EU should upgrade its presence in the region. Yet, as this alert shows, the EU and its member states already began their own, largely undetected, rebalancing towards Asia roughly a decade ago. Does the EU now have the possibility of becoming – even inadvertently – an Asian (minor) power?

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    26March 2013

    After a period of relative stability and significant progress in its reform efforts, Moldovan politics has (re)entered a phase of instability, creating uncertainty about its future direction and its relationship with the EU. This notwithstanding, Moldova potentially remains the best example of a successful transformation under the Union’s Eastern Partnership.

  • 13March 2013

    Taking place in Washington, D.C on the 13-14 March, the 2013 EUWF served as a reminder that diplomacy, development and defence are all important elements in attempts to maintain stability and generate growth, even in times of budgetary constraints.

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    08March 2013

    Au cours des dernières années, si l’IdS a indéniablement gagné en importance, il demeure encore méconnu comparativement à la PSDC. Leur histoire est pourtant parallèle et leurs activités complémentaires, de façon à renforcer l’approche globale prônée par l’UE dans la Stratégie européenne de sécurité.

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    07March 2013

    China is poised to become the EU’s most important commercial partner, while simultaneously being a serious challenger in trade and a competitor for resources. It is against the backdrop of this dichotomy that this report offers a number of suggestions to assist EU policymakers in developing a more coherent approach towards China.

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    04March 2013

    Sanctions seem to have become one of the EU’s weapons of choice to effect change beyond its borders and the case of Belarus testifies in particular to the Union’s ambition to conduct coercive diplomacy. Yet, despite the various steps taken by the EU over the past years, little lasting success has been achieved so far in enforcing meaningful change in Europe’s ‘last dictatorship’.

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    15August 2008

    Despite their recent conflict and its impact on relations with the European Union, the futures of both Georgia and Russia are inextricably linked with Europe. The Director of the EUISS discusses the different European paths of the two countries, and presents a vision for the EU’s interaction with them to build a more secure future for the wider Eurasian continent.

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    12August 2008

    The hostilities between Russia and Georgia reflect a lack of long-term strategic thinking on the part of Russia, which is jeopardising relations with the West in order to assert itself as a global power, as well a political climate of increasing nationalism in Georgia. Neither of these factors is constructive in resolving the conflicts over the breakaway regions of South Ossetia and Abkhazia.

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    30July 2008
    By

    Following Ireland’s ‘No’ to the Lisbon Treaty, echoing the French and Dutch voters’ rejection of the Constitutional Treaty in 2005, the EU needs to consider carefully how to win back citizens’ support and thus overcome the fears that are crippling its ability to shape world politics.

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    05June 2008

    The tension between interdependence and power politics will shape the future of the international system. It is in the interest of the European Union to engage established and aspiring global powers in a sustained dialogue on how to confront pressing common challenges.

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    28March 2008

    The newest ESDP mission to Kosovo is a display of unity by the European Union, focused on the goal of ensuring stability grounded on the rule of law, including strict respect for minority rights, in the newly-independent state. The EU must achieve its objective while remaining a magnet for Kosovars and at the same time for the Serbs.

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    03March 2008

    The debate over missile defence in Europe is likely to remain on the political agenda for the foreseeable future as discussions evolve on both sides of the Atlantic. This policy brief provides basic background information on missile defence and highlights some of the principal political and security aspects associated with missile defence in Europe.

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    18February 2008

    The fireworks were spectacular. The giant cake which was served on Mother Teresa street was pretty good and Kosovo’s declaration of independence and subsequent speeches so oozing with goodwill towards the new country’s minority Serbs that one could not but help suspect, as indeed many did, that Kosovo’s leaders had had a little, or in fact quite a lot, of help from their (foreign) friends in drafting them. But now, the deed is done. Kosovo’s Albanians have declared independence and a chapter which began in 1999 has officially been closed.

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    18February 2008

    ‘1973,’ declared Henry Kissinger in late April of that year, ‘is the year of Europe’—a time, he insisted, for the allies to join in ‘a fresh act of creation … equal to that undertaken by the postwar generation of leaders of Europe and America.’ Now, in 2008, we are on the eve of a new era that awaits the decisions that will define Europe and its relations with the United States after the departure of George W. Bush, Europe’s least-liked postwar US president, and take us beyond the war in Iraq, one of the most divisive issues in Euro-Atlantic relations ever.

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    01December 2007

    The European Neighbourhood Policy (ENP) framework obliges the EU to coordinate closely with Georgia on its policies for conflict resolution in the breakaway entities of Abkhazia and South Ossetia. Brussels and Tbilisi do not share the same time perspective, however.

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    01December 2007
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    The EU-Africa summit in Lisbon on 8-9 December 2007 is due to usher in a new stage in the long-standing relations between the two continents with the adoption of a far-reaching joint strategy and a concrete action plan for its implementation.The EU is already the world’s largest donor in Africa and is the continent’s most important economic and trade partner. It has a particular role to play and a particular responsibility towards the African continent.

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