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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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    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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    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
    By

    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.

  • 01November 2007

    Wladyslaw Bartoszewski, Poland’s former foreign minister, offered a damning verdict on his country’s diplomacy under the Kaczynskis. “If the bride is poor and ugly,” he said, “the least she can do is to be gracious.”

    During their two-year rule the twins chastised the Germans, refused to talk to the Russians and at times ignored most European partners.

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    01October 2007

    Over the last ten years, the EU Special Representatives (EUSRs) have pioneered EU foreign policy in countries and regions of direct interest to the Union. EUSRs are a face of the Union, enhancing its visibility, and they give it a voice, seeking to deliver a single message to local and international partners, playing an important role in EU foreign policy.

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    01September 2007

    By introducing the Wider Europe concept and the European Neighborhood Policy, the European Union has actually entered a region which Russia has long considered the sphere of its national interests. The Occasional Paper explores the resultant ‘zero-sum game’.

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    01September 2007

    For six decades the United States has supported European integration, yet many Americans have an ambivalent attitude towards the European Union. Some Americans see the EU as the culmination of historic efforts to ensure peace, stability and democracy on the continent, while others consider the Union an elaborate scheme to create a rival to US hegemony. Still others dismiss the EU as irrelevant.

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    01July 2007

    The new EUISS Director, Álvaro de Vasconcelos, outlines his vision for the Institute and its role in shaping EU foreign policy in this edition of the Intitute's newsletter 'ISSues'. Other articles include missile defence and gender mainstreaming.

  • 01July 2007

    As I begin my tenure as director, it seems appropriate that I should outline my vision for the EUISS and its role in shaping the European Union's foreign and security policy, by broadly recapitulating the ideas set out in the paper submitted at the request of the HR/SG for CFSP, Javier Solana, prior to my appointment to this post.

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    01July 2007
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    At dawn on 23 June, after close to 36 hours of intensive talks, EU leaders adopted a mandate for a Reform Treaty. In the field of foreign and security policy, the text foresees the EU should have, as of 2009, a High Representative for foreign affairs and security policy. He will be supported by a European external action service. Another important innovation is the permanent structured co-operation in the field of defence.

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