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Chapter

Cover International Relations and the European Union

3. Engaging the World  

The European Union and the Processes of International Relations

Geoffrey Edwards

This chapter examines the ways in which the European Union enters into international relations and engages with key processes in the world arena. It first provides a historical background on the interaction of an evolving EU with the rest of the world before discussing the main patterns of relationships and interactions in the areas in which Europe has been active. It then considers two centres of enduring tensions in the EU's external engagement: EU's engagement with processes of international cooperation and conflict, and with processes of global governance. It also looks at tensions that arise between the collective ‘European’ and national positions. They are between: Europeanization and national foreign policy; rhetoric and achievement; big and small member states; old and new Europe; and the concept of civilian power Europe and the EU as an international security actor with access to military forces.

Chapter

Cover Politics in the European Union

25. Common Foreign and Security Policy  

This chapter examines the European Union’s (EU’s) Common Foreign and Security Policy (CFSP). It tells the story of increasing co-operation between member states on foreign policy matters, first with European Political Co-operation (EPC) and, since the 1990s, with CFSP and a Common Security and Defence Policy (CSDP). The chapter highlights the internal dynamics and external events that drove the member states towards such co-operation and considers the most recent example of such efforts: the 2017 attempt to create a system of permanent structured co-operation (PESCO). However, it is noted that the EU remains far from having a truly supranational foreign policy and there remains a reluctance from member states to push much further integration, given states’ keen desire to remain sovereign in this area. Finally, the chapter considers the EU’s status as a ‘power’ in international relations, noting that it has diminished in important respects since 2003, but remains an important economic power.

Book

Cover International Relations and the European Union

Christopher Hill, Michael Smith, and Sophie Vanhoonacker-Kormoss

International Relations and the European Union takes a unique approach by incorporating the study of the EU’s world role into the wider field of international relations. The text explains the EU’s role in the contemporary world. Beginning with an examination of theoretical frameworks and approaches, the text goes on to address the institutions and processes that surround the EU’s international relations. Key policy areas, such as security and trade, are outlined in detail, alongside the EU’s relations with specific countries, including the United States, China, India, and Russia. Updates for the fourth edition include chapters on the EU’s relationship with Africa and Asia, coverage of the implementation of the EU’s foreign policy, and exploration of how the EU’s international relations relate historically to the European integration process, and the contemporary issue of migration.

Chapter

Cover International Relations and the European Union

1. International Relations and the European Union  

Themes and Issues

This edition examines the contexts in which the European Union has reflected and affected major forces and changes in international relations (IR) by drawing on concepts such as balance of power, multipolarity, multilateralism, interdependence, and globalization. It explores the nature of policymaking in the EU's international relations and the ways in which EU policies are pursued within the international arena. Topics include the EU's role in the global political economy, how the EU has developed an environmental policy, and how it has attempted to graft a common defence policy onto its generalized foreign and security policy. This chapter discusses the volume's methodological assumptions and considers three perspectives on IR and the EU: the EU as a subsystem of IR, the EU and the processes of IR, and the EU as a power in IR. It also provides an overview of the chapters that follow.

Chapter

Cover International Relations and the European Union

15. The European Union’s Security and Defence Policy  

The Quest for Purpose

Jolyon Howorth

This chapter examines the European Union's efforts since the late 1990s to become an increasingly autonomous security and defence actor, albeit one that focused overwhelmingly on overseas missions connected with crisis management and embryonic nation building. It first provides an overview of EU security and defence in the context of international relations before discussing the theoretical approaches to the emergence of the EU security and defence policy. It then considers the factors that drove the EU to tackle new and significant security challenges, along with the implications for international relations of the EU's overseas interventions, both as a military and as a civilian crisis management entrepreneur. It also explores the ramifications of the Treaty of Lisbon, the 2016 European Global Strategy, and Brexit for the further development of Europe's security and defence policy, in the context of new and serious security threats in its Southern and Eastern neighbourhoods.

Chapter

Cover International Relations and the European Union

5. The Institutional Framework  

Sophie Vanhoonacker and Karolina Pomorska

This chapter examines the institutional context of the European Union's international relations. EU institutions such as the Council, Commission, European Parliament, and the Court of Justice play substantially different roles depending on the policy area. Such variations reflect differing paths of evolution and the different degrees of integration in different areas of external policy. The chapter first considers how we should think about the roles of institutions before discussing some of the key ideas about the ways in which the EU's institutions work. It then explores how institutions affect three policy areas: the Common Commercial Policy, development cooperation policy and humanitarian aid, and European foreign policy and security cooperation. It also describes four propositions that explain why institutions matter and shows that that change in EU membership and in the institutional arrangements in the global arena has had important implications for the development of the EU's ‘internal’ institutions.

Chapter

Cover The European Union

8. The EU as a Global Actor  

Niklas Helwig

The EU’s ambitions to be a global power are a surprising by-product of European integration. Students of European foreign policy mostly focus on EU trade, aid, and the Common Foreign and Security Policy (CFSP). But the national foreign policy activities of its member states cannot be neglected. On most economic issues, the EU is able to speak with a single voice. It has more difficulty showing solidarity on aid policy but is powerful when it does. The Union’s external policy aspirations now extend to traditional foreign and security policy. But distinct national policies persist, and the EU suffers from fragmented leadership. The chapter begins by considering the development of EU foreign policy and then considers how a national system of foreign policies exists alongside EU policies in the area of trade and international development. It then examines the EU’s CFSP and Common Security and Defence Policy (CSDP).

Chapter

Cover International Relations and the European Union

2. The European Union in World Politics: An Historical Overview  

Christopher Hill, Michael Smith, and Sophie Vanhoonacker

This chapter provides a structured treatment of the historical context for the mutual entanglement of European integration and the broader development of international relations, bearing in mind the threefold framework set out in the first chapter, namely, European integration as a sub-system of international relations, as part of the general processes of international relations, and as a potential or actual ‘power’ in international relations. The chapter looks at developments up to the end of the 20th century and provides some background to the topics covered in the following chapters. It shows how the European Union’s (EU’s) international role has continuously been shaped by both by the changing international environment and the continuous interaction between politics, economics, and security.

Book

Cover International Relations and the European Union

Christopher Hill, Michael Smith, and Sophie Vanhoonacker

International Relations and the European Union takes a unique approach by incorporating the study of the EU's world role into the wider field of international relations. The text explains the EU's role in the contemporary world. Beginning with an examination of theoretical frameworks and approaches, the text goes on to address the institutions and processes that surround the EU's international relations. Key policy areas, such as security and trade, are outlined in detail, alongside the EU's relations with specific countries, including the United States, China, India, and Russia. Updates for the third edition include expanded discussions of three key perspectives to provide a rounded picture of the EU's place in the international system: as a sub-system of international relations, as part of the process of international relations, and as a power in its own right.