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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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    16January 2006

    Following the rejection of the Constitutional Treaty (CT) European leaders adopted a Declaration endorsing the idea that a period of reflection was needed. An inclusive debate was to be promoted while it was envisaged that leaders would take stock of the outcome of national debates and decide how to bring the process of ratification forward.

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    01January 2006

    Three years after the crisis ignited by America’s decision to go to war in Iraq, can the United States and the European Union be said to be ‘friends again’? After a rocky and on occasion openly acrimonious period in EU-US relations during George W. Bush’s first presidency,it seems that transatlantic relations have returned to a more harmonious state.

  • 01January 2006

    Negotiations on Kosovo's 'future status' are widely predicted to result in a transition to independence under international supervision. Meanwhile, Montenegro's government is preparing a referendum on independence in late spring. Many ask why the EU should tolerate further fragmentation that seems at odds with recent encouraging signs that the region is now ready to move forward to EU integration.

  • 01January 2006

    A l'encontre des perceptions des années 1990, une amélioration s'esquisse sur le continent africain. L'« afro-pessimisme » résultant de multiples conflits et de difficultés économiques récurrentes semble s'estomper au profit d'une prise en compte de l'hétérogénéité des situations africaines. Dans le sillage de ces évolutions, le Conseil de l'Union européenne des 15 et 16 décembre 2005 a adopté une nouvelle stratégie pour l'Afrique.

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    01January 2006

    The broader Middle Eastern region has become the central focus of U.S.-European diplomatic relations. Talks between senior European policymakers and U.S. officials are now often dominated by issues that arise from the threats to peace and stability that emanate from this troubled region. The Middle East looms equally large in public opinion on both sides of the Atlantic.

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    01January 2006

    Quand on aime, on ne compte pas, dit la sagesse populaire. A contrario donc, les batailles sévères entre Etats membres sur l’avenir du budget européen en disent long sur la double crise de confiance et de solidarité que traverse l’Union depuis plus de six mois. Au point que l’on peut se demander si ce sont bien les « non » français et néerlandais au référendum sur la Constitution qui ont déclenché la crise, ou s’ils n’ont été finalement que les déclencheurs ou les révélateurs d’une rupture plus profonde depuis longtemps présente dans la dynamique européenne.

  • 19December 2005

    The EUISS held a seminar in order to exchange information on the state of affairs in the countries of the Western Balkans on the eve of Kosovo status negotiations, and to assess the likely impact of the latter on the region.

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    01December 2005
    By

    Historically speaking, security and defence are late arrivals on the European agenda. But like all young things, the European security and defence policy is growing fast. We have put in place the necessary decision-making structures and launched a process to enhance European capabilities, which has been given fresh impetus with the creation of the European Defence Agency.

  • 02November 2005

    This note assesses the impact of the political crisis affecting the EU in the wake of the constitutional referenda, specifically with reference to the image and performance of the Union in the wider international world. The basic assumption is that the viability of CFSP and of EC external relations largely depends on the political cohesion of the EU.

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    26October 2005
    By

    In November 2004, the EU set forth a new framework for policy towards Belarus. The regional context around Belarus has since changed dramatically, with an enlarged EU, a 'revolutionary' Ukraine, a more defensive Russia and more active US. EU policy may be strengthened to reflect and work with these changes.

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    01November 2001

    In addition to the fifteen states that emerged from the Soviet collapse in 1992, four other states exist and have declared independence, but are unrecognised. These are the Pridnestrovyan Moldovan Republic (PMR) inside Moldovan borders, the Republic of South Ossetia and the Republic of Abkhazia within Georgian borders, and the Nagorno-Karabakh Republic in Azerbaijan.

  • 01October 2001

    The impact on US Foreign Policy What are the implications for the direction of US foreign and security policy in the wake of the attacks on 11 September? Will it become more multilateralist or unilateralist? How will it affect transatlantic relations?

  • 01October 2001

    Recent terrorist attacks in New York and Washington raise the question whether similar attacks could also take place in Europe. Is the threat of catastrophic terrorism the same for EU members as for the US? Or does it create different zones of security and vulnerability within NATO and the EU?...

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    01October 2001

    The blurring of the distinction between internal and external security, and the connected impulse towards better coordination between the correspondent policy fields, are among the fundamental structural changes in international relations that have occurred during the last decades. Such overall trends were accentuated and made particularly evident in Western Europe by progress in supranational integration.

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    01October 2001

    There is no doubt that the terrorist attacks of 11 September against America have drastically changed the international strategic order. It is not yet possible to discern the scale of this revolution, as new developments in the coming weeks may have further profound effects on the international system as a whole.

  • 27September 2001

    L’énorme cacophonie stratégique qui n’en finit pas d’émerger des ruines du World Trade Center affectera aussi les règles et la dynamique traditionnelles de la construction européenne. Moteurs d’intégration accrue, les attentats du 11 septembre le seront au moins pour trois raisons.

  • 01September 2001

    What consequences may the terrorist acts of 11 September have for EU enlargement? Will they facilitate it or make it more complicated? And what is likely to be their overall impact on pan-European security?

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    01July 2001

    This paper analyses how the Russian top leadership’s rhetoric on security and the West evolved during and after NATO’s Operation Allied Force against Serbia in 1999. By grasping the logic inherent in political rhetoric, one can arrive at a better understanding of the messages that a political actor is trying to convey.

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    02May 2001

    In the two years between St-Malo and Nice, the character of the European Union changed. What was previously unthinkable ‘at Fifteen’ became an objective agreed by all member states: the inclusion in the Union’s legitimate competencies of a common security and defence policy, in other words its acquisition of strategic responsibility in post-Cold War crisis management.

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    01May 2001

    This Occasional Paper stems from a series of meetings of an ISS Task Force on ‘The Coherence of CFSP’ held in Paris between October 2000 and April 2001. Task Forces are small groups of experts and officials from member States, international bodies and think tanks that convene periodically to discuss a given topic or policy area. They usually include a ‘core group’ of members and other participants that join in according to the specific focus of each meeting.

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