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The EU Foreign Policy – Myth or Reality?

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  1. Introduction.
  2. The historical background of CFSP and CSDP.
    1. The failure of the EDC and the 'Fouchet Plans'.
    2. The European Political Cooperation.
    3. The Common Foreign and Security Policy.
  3. The institutional framework of CFSP and CSDP.
    1. Introductory remarks about the institutional differences between CFSP and CSDP.
    2. Preparations at officials' level.
    3. The right of initiative.
    4. Fixing Guiding lines and general principles.
    5. The decision-making of CFSP and CSDP measures.
    6. Implementation and external representation of CFSP/CSDP.
    7. The jurisdiction.
    8. Assessment of the institutional framework of CFSP and CSDP.
  4. CFSP and CSDP put into practice.
    1. The structure of this practical approach.
    2. An overview of the different instruments of CFSP and CSDP.
    3. Common strategies.
    4. Non-binding declaratory diplomacy.
    5. Legally binding instruments.
  5. Conclusion.
    1. The EU action in the area of foreign policy: unified entities like a nation-state?
    2. Another approach: The EU as an original form of organisation.
    3. Final assessment.
  6. Bibliography.

European Union (EU) critics are a very heterogenic group. Amongst them, there are people who think that this organization has too many responsibilities. Sometimes this disapproval is summarized in only one word: ?Brussels', the city where several institutions of the EU and especially the European Commission have their seat. According to these critics, the European Commission and its bureaucracy interfere in national legislation everywhere and every time. Their desire is to prevent this and to protect the sovereignty of the EU member states, in particular as regards the important aspect of foreign policy. In opposition to this point of view, even if it is a rarer phenomenon, other detractors complain that the EU hasn't got enough responsibilities and is in fact too weak. Some want the EU to become a genuine federation with exclusive or large competences in the field of foreign and defense policy. The debate about latter is particularly controversial: Should the EU get more competences in foreign and defense policy or should this be a domain reserved for the nation-states? Of course, this issue is purely matter of opinion. No truth about this controversy can be established. In opposition to this normative approach, however, there is the possibility of a positive approach, i.e. to find out to what extent the EU has got competences today in the area of foreign policy. The result of such an analysis could then serve as a base for a later comment on the question. The positive approach is the topic with which this term paper will deal. But first of all, we have to define what is meant by ?European foreign policy' and what ?competences' we are talking about in order to limit the topic and make clear what is exactly the question to which we will try to answer.

[...] This brings a considerable limit to the foreign policy of the EU seen as a unified entity. There are, however, elements which strengthen this unified character of CFSP and CSDP. The current HR Javier Solana for instance has managed to personify efficiently European foreign policy and has gathered a momentum of its own. Moreover, recent treaties have created several possibilities of decision-making within the GAERC which differ clearly from the intergovernmental principle of unanimity. We can therefore conclude this second part by saying that CFSP 'has developed almost as a third way between the intergovernmental and communitarian methods'[22]. [...]


[...] The French-British Summit of Saint-Malo It was also outside the institutions of CFSP that took place the French- British Summit in Saint-Malo in 1998 where Jacques Chirac and Tony Blair called for the ?capacity for autonomous action, backed up by credible military forces'[49]. This can be seen as a kind of initial declaration of the ERFF which was founded some years later. There exist other examples for cooperation in the area of foreign and security policy outside the formal EU structures. [...]


[...] They failed because of diverging objectives amongst the EU member states: The ?smaller' like the Benelux countries were rather in favour of a supranational structure and didn't want to compromise existing organisations like NATO whereas particularly France under De Gaulle wanted European Foreign policy to be purely intergovernmental and to become to an alternative to American defence policy. In 1970 then was established the EPC, which was at the beginning only a meeting of heads of state and government: this loose and weak coordination of European Foreign policy had only a few instruments as well as feeble institutions. [...]

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