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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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  • 01July 2006

    From the mid-1990s onwards, the EU followed a unique policy approach in order to engage the Islamic Republic of Iran. Recognising the country's geostrategic position and its importance as an energy supplier, EU countries embraced a policy of dialogue.

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    01July 2006
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    As we finalise this second issue of the ESDP newsletter, the European Union is about to launch its fourth military operation under the European Security and Defence Policy: the UN force, MONUC, during the crucial electoral period in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). The newsletter places the new mission in the context of the EU's strong, long-standing and multifaceted commitment to the DRC and its transition process.

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    01July 2006

    This edition of the EUISS newsletter 'ISSues' includes articles about the Iranian constitution, the EU's soft power in the Balkans, and EU dialogue with Iran.

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    01July 2006

    For much of the 1990s, Central Asia was not on the EU radar screen. Lately, however, it has started to matter for the EU. The ongoing European military commitment in Afghanistan, the events in Andijan in Uzbekistan, the violent change of power in Kyrgyzstan – all highlight a highly volatile region.

  • 30June 2006

    This Task Force focussed on Montenegro after the independence referendum and relations with Serbia; domestic developments in Serbian politics especially in the light of the possibility of parliamentary elections in the autumn; and the prospects for a viable settlement of Kosovo's 'final status' this year.

  • 01June 2006

    As a close observer of the short and unhappy history of the State Union of Serbia and Montenegro, I was often reminded of what I learned from watching the Czechs and Slovaks abandon their common state between 1989 and 1993. Although I had worked for several years on ‘Czechoslovak’ politics, I did not expect this federation to fail.

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    01June 2006

    The operational progress in civilian crisis management made by the EU since 1999 has been impressive and has helped to enhance the EU's reputation as a credible security provider. However, the realisation of EU political objectives related to the strengthening of international security does not depend merely on the improvement of the EU's operational capabilities.

  • 29May 2006

    The purpose of this seminar was twofold: to reflect on the prospects and difficulties of global governance and analyse the actual and potential roles of the European Union in global governance.

  • 19May 2006

    The EUISS and the European Centre Natolin in Poland held a conference in Warsaw/Natolin,in order to debate the future of EU foreign policy and to foster two-way (involving old-new member states) strategic thinking inside the EU.

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    15May 2006

    It is the general perception in Washington that EU-US relations are on the road to recovery after Iraq, though overall interest in the EU remains moderate in the United States. The EU needs to capitalise more systematically on the fact that its opinions on Iran are listened to in Washington. In this way, the EU can contribute to and influence the American debate.

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    01December 2002

    UNSC Resolution 1441 has given the Iraqi regime a last opportunity to abandon any WMD programmes. If Iraq does not comply fully with the resolution or if inspections show that Iraq is indeed hiding WMD, the Security Council will have to consider the situation and decide what measures must be taken to maintain international peace and security.

  • 01December 2002

    Bearing in mind that the Iraqi issue is and will remain high on the European and transatlantic agendas, the EU Institute for Security Studies has decided to examine it thoroughly through a series of publications and activities. The following texts are so far available

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    01October 2002

    The principal question of this Chaillot Paper is what guiding model (Leitbild) the EU should adopt with regard to CFSP. This paper suggests that the EU’s external activities should be based on a ‘cooperative security provider’ model, embracing civilian, military and normative elements in a comprehensive approach to peace and security.

  • 01September 2002

    In the last two years or so, the situation in the Middle East has been quickly evolving from instability to war, while neither the local actors nor the United States, individual European countries or the European Union have been able to react to prevent it. Many new factors shaping the region are making it more dangerous.

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    01September 2002

    The official Polish position on the future of the European Union is characterised above all by continuity and evolution. ... Following a period of ‘uninformed enthusiasm’ in the formulation of the official position,the Polish government is trying to anticipate the role that Poland may play as a future member,albeit a member of somewhat limited potential.

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    01September 2002

    One year on, the only thing that is systematic about the international system is its disorder. The United States, shaken to the core by the terrorist attacks and the fraud perpetrated by leaders of globalised companies, is relentlessly pursuing its course down the path of unilateralism.

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    01July 2002

    On s’accorde généralement à dire que, depuis son lancement en 1995 à Barcelone, le Partenariat euro-méditerranéen n’a pas vraiment répondu aux grands espoirs qu’il avait suscités. Les ambitions initiales de cette nouvelle forme de politique méditerranéenne étaient en effet très importantes : assurer la paix et la stabilité régionale, encourager un développement économique partagé, permettre une meilleure connaissance mutuelle de part et d’autre de la Méditerranée.

  • 01June 2002

    Football is the most European, and simultaneously, the most global of sports. The British Empire spread the game throughout Europe, and then worldwide. But national cultures in Europe quickly shaped peculiar and distinctive ways of playing the game which in time became expressions of collective identity

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    01June 2002

    All three Central European candidates for EU membership have gone through an evolutionary (and learning) process as regards the development of ESDP: from scepticism and worry – that it could undermine NATO – to qualified acceptance and more direct involvement.

  • 14May 2002

    Tous les alliés européens de Washington sont perplexes, voire inquiets, devant les évolutions stratégiques des Etats-Unis, et en particulier devant leur attitude à l'égard de l'Otan. Ils constatent en effet que l'unilatéralisme américain, cette méfiance envers toute démarche et institutions multilatérales, s'applique aussi à l'égard de l'Otan, qui était jusque-là perçue comme l'organisation internationale favorite de Washington

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