Rethinking European Union Foreign Policy

By Ben Tonra; Thomas Christiansen | Go to book overview
Save to active project

BEN TONRA AND THOMAS CHRISTIANSEN


1
The study of EU foreign policy: between
international relations and European studies

The European Union's foreign policy is an ongoing puzzle. The membership of the enlarging European Union has set itself ever more ambitious goals in the field of foreign policy-making, yet at the same time each member state continues to guard its ability to conduct an independent foreign policy. As far as the EU's ambitions are concerned, foreign policy cooperation led to coordination, and coordination in turn gave way to the aspiration of developing a common foreign policy. Concern over foreign policy was the precursor to endeavours to cooperate in matters of security and eventually defence policy. And the desire to maintain the national veto over decision-making within the 'second pillar' of the Common Foreign and Security Policy (CFSP) gave way to the acceptance that, at least in some agreed areas, detailed policies - joint actions and common positions - would be determined by qualified majority vote.

Yet, despite these advances the reluctance of member states to submit their diplomacy to the strait-jacket of EU decision-making has remained. Individual states have maintained distinct national foreign policies, whether this is about specific regional interests, specific global issues or special relationships with other powers. This has been reflected in the institutional arrangements based on the principle of unanimity. Indeed, the very pillar structure of the EU treaties - separating the 'Community pillar' from the special regime that governs CFSP and parts of Justice and Home Affairs - is a hallmark of an arrangement in which member states have sought to minimise the role of supranational institutions and preserve national autonomy.

And yet, despite the sensitivity of member states in the area of foreign policy, and their caution to move beyond intergovernmental decision-making mechanisms in this field, foreign policy has been one of the areas in which European integration has made the most dynamic advances. This includes institutional innovations such as the establishment of the post of High Representative for the CFSP and the creation of an EU Military Staff, both based within the

-1-

Notes for this page

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
Loading One moment ...
Project items
Notes
Cite this page

Cited page

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

Cited page

Bookmark this page
Rethinking European Union Foreign Policy
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger
Search within

Search within this book

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

While we understand printed pages are helpful to our users, this limitation is necessary to help protect our publishers' copyrighted material and prevent its unlawful distribution. We are sorry for any inconvenience.
Full screen
/ 175

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.

Are you sure you want to delete this highlight?