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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.


  • 01March 2004

    The ninth meeting of the Institute’s Task Force on the Balkans convened on 1 March 2004 to debate the recent elections in Croatia and Serbia. The key questions were the reasons why voters had turned to nationalist and, in the Serbian case, extremist parties, and what could be expected from the new governments.

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    01March 2004

    An analysis on Russia first published in the Washington Quarterly on Russia-EU relations, by Dov Lynch.

  • 10February 2004

    Du Maroc à l'Afghanistan, tout inventaire de la situation - un an après le début de la guerre en Irak - risque d'être comme de coutume complexe, ambigu, pire pour les uns, meilleur pour les autres, à l'exception de deux évidences : la détérioration continue du conflit israélo-palestinien d'une part ; l'extrême difficulté du « state building » en Irak, de l'autre

  • 27January 2004

    Ancora in un'intervista rilasciata tempo fa al Corriere della sera, il premier francese Jean- Pierre Raffarin insisteva sull'alternativa fra il varo più rapido possibile del trattato costituzionale per l'Ue e il lancio - descritto come quasi inevitabile - dei cosiddetti «gruppi pionieri» dell'integrazione.

  • 22January 2004

    The Bertelsmann Foundation has convened a European task force on Iraq, whose main aim is to assess a possible EU involvement in the political reconstruction of that country

  • 20January 2004

    Il Medio Oriente, il ruolo della Russia, le minoranze etniche oltre confine e i Balcani. Un'agenda per la Pesc che verrà. L'allargamento progressivo della Comunità prima e dell'Unione Europea poi è stato un grande successo economico e politico.

  • 20January 2004

    «Tre donne intorno al cor ...» - potrebbe essere questo il motto con cui Romano Prodi, il 1 maggio prossimo, accoglierà i nuovi commissari europei che entreranno a far parte del collegio da lui presieduto. I nuovi dieci membri dell'Unione hanno infatti diritto a nominare ciascuno un commissario, portando così la composizione del collegio a 30 membri, anche se solo fino al 1 novembre prossimo.

  • 15January 2004

    2003 was a difficult year for the EU - and so was its epilogue at the European Council held in Brussels in mid-December. Paradoxically, however, 2003 was a positive year for ESDP.

  • 12January 2004

    On 12 January, the Institute organised a ‘brainstorming’ seminar on flexibility for ESDP that reviewed the latest developments in the Intergovernmental Conference as well as the Council.

  • 01January 2004

    A few months and a couple of Newsletters ago, we described the outcome of the European Convention as 'half full'. After the failure of the Intergovernmental Conference to finalise a constitutional treaty for the EU, the contrary seems almost inevitable: never before, in fact, has an IGC ended in failure.



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    01February 1994

    Among the range of problems which have arisen following the breakup of the Soviet Union, those of Ukraine and its relations with Russia, particularly in the nuclear field, are among the most difficult. They present particular dilemmas for West European security policy-makers endeavouring to develop a satisfactory mix of approaches to the two countries.

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    01October 1993

    For more than two years, wars and atrocities all too reminiscent of another epoch have set in - perhaps permanently - in the heart of Europe. Yet the Continent is for the most part focused towards its prosperity, its restored security and the extension of fundamental liberties. This coexistence of peace and war is not attributable solely to the collapse of the former Yugoslavia.

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    01September 1993

    Professor Dieter Mahncke, the Deputy Director of the Planning Staff of the German Defence Ministry in Bonn, was a visiting fellow at the Institute for the last quarter of 1992. We were pleased to welcome him and were stimulated by his many contributions to our work. The end of the Cold War has meant that very many of the concepts on which institutions and structures for security in Western Europe were based have had to be re-examined.

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    01November 1992

    Since 1945, the existence of nuclear weapons has profoundly modified our thinking on strategic issues. Nowhere was that more true than in the Europe of the Cold War. With the end of the Cold War and the important progress made in the process of European integration, the roles of nuclear weapons and more generally deterrence in Europe need a new examination.

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    01March 1991

    Whether the countries of the Mediterranean littoral are linked by special bonds of solidarity is and will remain a much-debated question. After the Second World War, anti-imperialist and non-aligned thinking advocated such solidarity on the grounds that countries as diverse as Egypt and Italy, or Spain and Algeria, were none the less equally subject to political and economic domination by the more advanced countries of Northern Europe and North America.