HELENE SJURSEN AND KAREN E. SMITH
Justifying EU foreign policy: the logics
underpinning EU enlargement
The foreign policy of the European Union is in many ways a puzzle to students of international relations. Doubts about whether there is in reality a European foreign policy contrast with empirical observations of the considerable influence exerted by the EU, if not always in the international system at large, then at least in Europe. Such observations imply that the EU has a 'foreign policy' of sorts. To better capture the EU's foreign policy, we need to ask different questions, beyond those of whether or not we are moving 'towards a common foreign and security policy' (Hoffmann 2000). Hence, in this chapter, we ask what the EU's foreign policy (such as it is) is for; in other words, what is its raison d'être? Taking the existence of an EU foreign policy as a given, we examine how this policy is justified.
Justifications of the EU's foreign policy have two addressees: the first is internal to the EU and consists of the member states and their citizens; the second is external and consists of non-member states and their citizens. The principal focus here will be on the EU's attempts to validate its foreign policy externally. At the same time, we assume that there is a connection between these attempts at external and internal justification in the sense that the former both shapes and reflects the latter. 1
Before entering into a discussion about the raison d'être of the EU's foreign policy, it is important to clarify what we mean by foreign policy. We consider the EU's policy on enlargement as foreign policy. Defining enlargement as a form of foreign policy is not entirely uncontroversial, although it is hardly novel. In 1989, Roy Ginsberg classified enlargement as a type of foreign policy action, which resulted specifically from the process of 'externalisation': a foreign policy option that could be executed in response to outside pressure from eligible nonmembers who want to join the club. We would go further, and argue that enlargement is not merely reactive. In fact, the current enlargement process is influenced by explicitly political objectives that aim to reshape political order in