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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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  • 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.

  • 21May 2001

    A seminar entitled ‘Enlarging Europe: CFSP perspectives’, took place in Paris on 21 and 22 May 2001 (Antonio Missiroli). The aim of this seminar was to address issues which lie at the juncture between two policy processes that are still perceived, if not pursued, as separate and distinct, namely the enlargement of the European Union and the development of CFSP/ESDP. Such separation, or distinction, concerns especially the candidate countries, who still see the EU as a mainly economic organisation and its CFSP as a mainly declaratory policy, NATO remaining the main security provider on the continent. The discussion aimed precisely at filling this gap and focused on both the attitudes of current members and candidates vis-à-vis enlargement and CFSP/ESDP, and the possible interactions between the two enlargements. In fact, late next year, key decisions are expected on both fronts – at the North Atlantic Council in Prague and at the European Council in Copenhagen, respectively – and it proved interesting, during this seminar, to assess the state of affairs and the likely scenarios seen from the participants’ viewpoints.

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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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    01May 2001

    In Europe, arms and dual-use exports raise complex questions. They fall between two policy spheres that are organised in a distinctly contrasting manner. On the one hand, they are an intrinsic part of commercial policy that lies within the exclusive competence of the European Community (EC). On the other hand, they come under the aegis of security and defence policy, a jealously guarded area of responsibility of the EU member states.

  • 02April 2001

    A seminar entitled ‘Defining a European Strategic Concept’, took place in Paris on 2 April 2001 (Julian Lindley-French). This seminar examined the relationship between the evolution and development of the political and military aspects of European defence.

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    02April 2001

    Once again contradictory dynamics are upsetting the fragile balance in the southern Balkans. On one side is the democratisation of Croatia but above all that of Serbia; on the other, attempts by UCK extremists to destabilise Macedonia. Yesterday’s enemy, Serbia, is becoming today’s partner, whereas yesterday’s partner, the UCK, may become a real adversary in the endeavour to maintain stability in Kosovo and the region as a whole.

  • 12March 2001

    A seminar entitled ‘Police for Peacebuilding: what role for the EU?’, took place in Paris on 12 March 2001 (Maartje Rutten). The aim of the seminar was to look at the process of establishing the EU pool of 5,000 police officers. The discussions centred on lessons learned from previous involvement of police in crisis management operations, the specific challenges for the EU in assembling police and ideas for enhancing implementation of the EU plans in this field. Participants comprised representatives from the EU Committee for Civil Aspects of Crisis Management, the Situation Centre/Crisis Cell at the Secretariat General at the EU Council of Ministers, the EU Military Staff, Europol, UN, OSCE, WEU, Gendarmerie and Carabinieri, in addition to many academics.

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    01March 2001

    Daniel Keohane explores the changing context of Irish defence policy in light of the rapid development of the CESDP. He touches on policy considerations germane to all EU member-states with a tradition of neutrality who are having to adjust to a new role in a changing world. Keohane also uses defence policy as a metaphor for the changing internal debate at a time when a strong and polemical discourse is underway about Ireland’s role in the wider world.

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