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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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  • 08November 2004

    This seminar drew together experts to analyse and debate ‘failing states’ – long a matter of concern to policy-makers in the field of economic development, but now high on the international security agenda.

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    01November 2004

    Le nombre croissant et la complexité grandissante des situations de crise en Afrique, ainsi qu’un intérêt moins marqué de la communauté internationale pour la région au lendemain de la guerre froide, ont conduit de nombreux États et organisations africains à prendre des initiatives pour trouver des solutions à leurs propres problèmes.

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    01November 2004

    The European Security Strategy of December 2003 and the draft Constitutional Treaty, adopted in October 2004, define the EU’s new global role. The European Union is determined to fight against major threats and challenges globally, strengthen security in its neighbourhood and contribute to an international order based on effective multilateralism.

  • 25October 2004

    Ce séminaire, organisé le 25 octobre 2004 à Paris, a fait le point sur le dialogue existant entre l’UE et les pays du Maghreb, et notamment la politique de voisinage de l’Union et le processus de Barcelone.

  • 21October 2004

    The EU's constitutional treaty is, in so far as it touches on foreign policy and common defence, an 'enabling' text. The treaties approved since the Maastricht Treaty (in 1992) have been mostly about constraining the general scope and function of the Union's foreign, security and defence policies. With the constitution, such constraints are either scrapped or the conditions for doing away with them in the future are set.

  • 01October 2004

    Turkey's long-standing relationship with the EU has from time to time been overshadowed by crises. However, there has never been a total breakdown in relations, and Turkey's bid for eventual EU membership has remained alive, if not always well. Now that the time for decisions has come, however, most political analysts expect a positive answer from the EU and the opening of formal accession negotiations some time in 2005.

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    01October 2004

    Lancée en 1999 au Conseil européen de Cologne, la PESD est sans conteste l’une des plus rapides « success stories » de l’Union européenne.

  • 01October 2004

    Over the past few weeks the debate over Turkey's accession to the European Union has become more intense - and it is likely to continue well beyond the European Commission's report expected next week. In fact, although the pending decision by the European Council is 'only' about the opening of formal accession negotiations, the discussion has focused on the outcome (full EU membership) rather than the process itself.

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    01October 2004

    The countries of the Western Balkans are moving on: from postwar reconstruction and stabilisation to consolidating democratic states, implementing economic reform, and preparing for EU accession. The EU has confirmed that ‘The future of the Balkans is within the European Union’, and all the states of the region now share that vision. Much can be learned from the Central and East European experiences of transition and integration, and the EU itself is better prepared than it was in the early 1990s.

  • 27September 2004

    The Institute organised this Conference in Paris to evaluate the potential implications of Turkish membership (or non-membership) for the EU’s security policy. Turkish officials and experts were also invited in order to engage in a common assessment of bilateral relations.

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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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    01March 2000

    The WEU Institute for Security Studies organised a seminar on ‘The future of the Euro-Mediterranean security dialogue’, on 13-14 January 2000 in Paris. The purpose of the meeting was to discuss the possibilities of enhancing the Euro-Mediterranean Partnership’s political and security chapter, including the establishment of a military dialogue within the Barcelona Process.

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    01February 2000

    Créer un marché de défense ouvert à l’échelle européenne est considéré, depuis longtemps déjà, comme un moyen de renforcer la concurrence entre les entreprises européennes et de favoriser les rationalisations industrielles. Mais plus encore, à l’heure où la restructuration de l’offre avance à grands pas, l’ouverture des marchés d’armement représente pour beaucoup un des enjeux majeurs de la réorganisation de la demande.

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    01February 2000

    How can one reconcile the number, the political equality and the diversity of states? This Chaillot Paper by Antonio Missiroli, who has been a research fellow at the Institute since December 1997, is the outcome of a series of seminars organised by the Institute on flexibility in the CFSP, its advantages and its drawbacks.

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    01January 2000

    Militarily non-aligned Finland and Sweden are in many ways borderline countries in Europe. Historically, they are newcomers in the process of integration; geographically, they are located at the border of the Union; and borders play an important role also in their foreign and security policies – both because of their concern for the nature of the EU’s outer borders and because of their wish to draw a (border-)line between crisis management and defence.

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