The European Union is often described as an economical giant but political pigmy . The Union is indeed the first commercial power in the world, but its political representation on the global stage is weak. From many points of view, the former attempts to develop a common foreign policy have failed. Not only were they unable to allow an efficient European intervention in crisis situations, but they also failed in creating an effective common policy. But new ideas still emerge to encourage a common external policy. What are the reasons for that? First of all, the failure of a European common foreign policy underlined several times that the EU actually needed such a policy. It needs it also because, facing a changing world, the EU has to tend to more political integration and to become a single actor in international relations. Between 1954, when the plan to create a European defence community came up against the French assembly vote, and 1969 in the Hague Summit, the European integration was only economical. The concept of a common foreign policy emerged in the 1970s when the EU began to take common positions on international issues such as the condemnation of the apartheid.
[...] For some European states, mainly France and Great-Britain, foreign policy is a matter of high politics, whereas the EU may concentrate on low political issues. Even if the idea of a common foreign policy is better accepted today than it used to be, the member states are still reluctant to enforce it. The CFSP came after a lot of bilateral agreements or alliances, which are still up to date. For instance, the Elysée treaty signed between France and Germany in 1963 planned an eventual common defence. Moreover the division of powers between the EU and the member states are unclear. [...]
[...] The EU realized the inadequacy of its foreign politic when it had to negotiate a broad political and economical agreement with the United States. Several foreign ministers came to meet Henry Kissinger, who finally assessed: “Europe must unite and increasingly speak with one voice if it wants to make itself heard and play its proper role in the world.” The relation with the United States is indeed one of the issues the CSFP is dealing with. For historical reasons, the United States ensured the defence of Europe after the Second World War and until the breaking up of the Soviet Union, even if some countries as France tried to set up an autonomous defence. [...]
[...] Europe absolutely needs to unify itself to answer the international pressures, and above all, today Europe has the means to lead a real common policy. So we can conclude with Simon Hix EU has the potential to be a major force in shaping global events.” It still has to be concentrated not only in the economical field but also in the political one. Bibliography Mathieu, Jean-Luc politique étrangère et de sécurité commune” in L'Union européenne. Que sais-je ? Paris, Presses Universitaires de France. [...]
[...] Op P 350 quoted in Zielonka, Jan “Constraints, Opportunities and Choice in European foreign policy”, in Paradoxes of European foreign policy. The Hague, Kluwer Law International. P quoted in The government and politics of the EU. Op, p Paradoxes of European foreign policy. Op, p 9. quoted in The government and politics of the EU. Op, p 456 Mathieu, Jean-Luc politique étrangère et de sécurité commune” in L'Union européenne. Paris, Presses Universitaires de France. P 100 Edited by Dannreuther, Roland transatlantic dimension”, in European Union foreign and security policy. [...]
[...] The political will to exploit them must exist if a real CFSP is to emerge.” On several occasions, the lack of inherence of the CFSP as well as its inefficiency was revealed in international crisis, advocating for the creation of a real common policy. The EU may have known some successes in its foreign policy, but only on consensual issues, such as the support of the Middle East peace process. Some common actions were also decided, but there was not a defined policy with précised aims. [...]
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