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18. Policy Making and Policies in the European Union  

This chapter examines policies and the patterns of policy making in the European Union (EU). First it surveys the range of EU policy responsibilities, and identifies ways in which policy dynamics differ between them, the most striking difference in policy making relating to the Common Foreign and Security Policy (CFSP) and its defence affiliate, the Common Security and Defence Policy (CSDP). It then explores the different stages in the EU policy cycle: the passage of policy issues from agenda-setting stage through policy formulation and decision making to the implementation stage and feedback loops. In a final section, it identifies some important policy areas that are worth being aware of but where space precludes chapter-length treatment.

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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.

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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.

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8. Implementation  

Making the European Union’s International Relations Work

Michael E. Smith

This chapter examines the policy instruments used by the European Union to translate its common interests into collective action in the international arena. It first considers the problem of implementation in EU foreign policy before discussing the EU's own resources in external relations/third countries as well as the role of member states' resources in EU's external relations. It then explores the instruments of EU foreign policy, which can be grouped into diplomatic, economic, and military/civilian capabilities. It also analyses the credibility and capability gaps in the EU's policy implementation, noting that there exists a key divide between the ‘low politics’ of economic affairs and the ‘high politics’ of security/defence affairs. The chapter suggests that the EU's unique capacity for policy implementation in the area of international relations can be very erratic.

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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.

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13. The European Commission  

This chapter examines the European Commission’s functions and structure, along with its role in policy making. The Commission initiates legislation, may act as a mediator, manages some policy areas, is guardian of the Treaties, is a key actor in international relations, and the ‘conscience of the European Union’. The chapter proceeds by discussing the debate on the extent to which the Commission is an autonomous political actor or simply an agent of the member states. Finally, it analyses the increasing challenges faced by the Commission in securing effective implementation of EU policies and its response to concerns over its financial management of EU programmes.

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Cover European Integration Theory

4. Liberal Intergovernmentalism  

Andrew Moravcsik and Frank Schimmelfennig

This chapter focuses on liberal intergovernmentalism (LI), which has acquired the status of a ‘baseline theory’ in the study of regional integration: an essential first-cut explanation against which other theories are often compared. The chapter argues that LI has achieved this dominant status due to its theoretical soundness, empirical power, and utility as a foundation for synthesis with other explanations. After providing an overview of LI’s main assumptions and propositions, the chapter illustrates LI’s scope and empirical power with two recent cases: migration policy and the euro. It closes by considering common criticisms levelled against LI, as well as the scope conditions under which it is most likely to explain state behaviour. This chapter concludes by emphasizing LI’s openness to dialogue and synthesis with other theories and reiterating its status as a baseline theory of European integration.

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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.

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7. The Role of the Member States  

The Europeanization of Foreign Policy?

Reuben Wong

This chapter examines the viability of Europeanization as an alternative approach to understanding the foreign policies of European Union member states. It first considers the meanings of Europeanization before proposing an operational definition of Europeanization, linking and contrasting it with the dominant European integration theories, namely neo-functionalism and intergovernmentalism. Three dimensions of Europeanization in national foreign policy are discussed: adaptation and policy convergence, national projection, and identity reconstruction. The chapter also compares Europeanization and intergovernmentalism in the study of national foreign policy and concludes with an overview of challenges involved in Europeanization research. It argues that the Europeanization concept, despite lacking theoretical consistency, remains useful and explains why this is so.

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Cover European Integration Theory

5. Governance Approaches to European Integration  

Tanja A. Börzel

After twenty years of continuous deepening and widening, European integration has entered an era of recurrent crises. Most students of the European Union (EU) seem to agree that the constitutional equilibrium between intergovernmental and supranational institutions has changed. Some see ‘new intergovernmentalism’ and ‘integration without supranationalization’ prevailing. Others contend that we are witnessing a series of functional and institutional spillovers empowering supranational institutions. This chapter argues that governance approaches are particularly useful to address the puzzling counter-positions represented in the current debate about the ‘nature of the beast’. They are better equipped to explore how and to what end institutional structures and processes have responded to the crises than mainstream integration theories. The chapter starts with introducing the ‘governance turn’ in EU studies as the attempt of EU scholars in the early 1990s to capture the nature of the EU. It then presents a typology that is based on a broad concept of governance as institutionalized forms of political coordination. The empirical part of the chapter uses this typology to give an overview of the structures and processes of EU governance before applying it to the financial and the migration crises. The chapter concludes with a discussion of the major challenges for European integration (theories) from a governance perspective, particularly with regard to managing current and preventing future crises.

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10. The European Union as a Trade Power  

Sophie Meunier and Kalypso Nicolaïdis

This chapter examines the determinants of the European Union's trade power as well as the contribution of trade policy to the power of Europe in the international system. It first considers how the EU acquired and expanded competence to represent the member states in trade policy, from the Common Commercial Policy in the Treaty of Rome to trade policy after the Treaty of Lisbon. It then provides an overview of the EU trade policymaking process before discussing the exercise of the EU's trade power. In particular, it explores the European single market and world trade liberalization, settlement of disputes in the World Trade Organization, and the EU's retreat from multilateralism. The chapter also looks at preferential trade agreements, along with bilateral and regional agreements, and concludes with an analysis of how the EU is resolving the tensions inherent to being a world power in trade and through trade.

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24. Trade and Development Aid  

This chapter examines the European Union’s (EU’s) external trade relations in the context of the wider framework of global trade agreements, along with its related policies on development aid, particularly with the African, Caribbean, and Pacific (ACP) states. It first looks at the history of the EU’s trade and development aid, before discussing its contemporary external trade and development policies. It explains the workings of the common commercial policy, considers disputes within the World Trade Organization (WTO), especially with the United States, and explores the EU’s trading relationship with developing countries and near neighbours in the context of the European Neighbourhood Policy (ENP). It then considers theoretical explanations of the EU’s external trade and development aid policies, as well as criticisms of such policies. Analysis of the EU’s external economic relations brings to the fore a number of theoretical themes, such as the tension between nationalism and supranationalism, the complexities of bargaining within multiple international forums, and the dominance of particular ideas across different forums.

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7. The First Years of the European Economic Community (the 1960s and into the 1970s)  

This chapter focuses on the first years of the European Economic Community (EEC). It describes the early 1960s as a period of apparent success for the supranational elements within the EEC, noting the rapid progress made towards the creation of both a common market and a common agricultural policy. The chapter also examines the crisis sparked by France’s decision to boycott meetings of the Council of Ministers in response to proposals for a more supranational method of funding the EEC budget; the impact of this crisis on the process of European integration; the so-called Luxembourg Compromise; and the Hague Summit. It concludes by discussing the EEC’s expansion of its membership at the start of the 1970s, as well as its first moves towards an Economic and Monetary Union and a Common Foreign and Security Policy.

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.

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17. The European Union and the USA  

Michael Smith and Rebecca Steffenson

This chapter examines the evolution of the European Union's relations with the United States. More specifically, it looks at the ways in which EU–US relations enter into the international relations of the EU as well as the implications for key areas of the EU's growing international activity. The chapter begins with an overview of the changing shape and focus of the EU–US relationship as it enters into economic, political, and security questions. It then considers the impact of EU–US relations on the EU's system of international relations, on the EU's role in the processes of international relations, and on the EU's position as a ‘power’ in international relations. It shows that the EU–US relationship has played a key (and contradictory) role in development of the EU's foreign policy mechanisms.

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19. Principles in European Union Foreign Policy  

Helene Sjursen

This chapter examines the normative principles underlying the European Union's foreign policy and whether there are inconsistencies therein. Drawing on a distinction between the principles of sovereignty, human rights, and a common good, the chapter challenges the notion that the EU is a distinctive foreign policy actor. Each of these principles points to a different perspective on how international politics should be organized, and each would take the EU's foreign policy in different directions. The chapter shows that the unresolved tensions in the EU's internal constitution, between its cosmopolitan vocation and the ambition of (EU) nation building, are also reflected in the EU foreign policy.

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2. The European Union as a Subsystem of International Relations  

Simon Duke and Sophie Vanhoonacker

This chapter focuses on the European Union as a subsystem of international relations. It examines the following questions, taking into account the historical context in which EU foreign policy has developed as well as the theoretical pluralism that has characterized its study. First, how has the EU dealt with its own international relations internally? Second, what are the ideas and principles underlying EU foreign policy? Third, what is the EU's collective action capacity in relation to the rest of the world? The chapter illustrates interstate dynamics as a result of European integration by focusing on the cases of France, Germany, and Benelux (Belgium, the Netherlands, and Luxembourg). It also considers the EU's international identity and its role as a collective actor.

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4. The European Union as a Power  

Filippo Andreatta and Lorenzo Zambernardi

This chapter focuses on the European Union as a ‘power’ on the world stage. The persistent inability to develop a truly common foreign and security policy may raise serious doubts about the idea of the EU as a major ‘power’. However, the concept and reality of power should not be confused with the threat or the use of coercive force alone. The chapter first considers the elusive concept of power before discussing the distinction between ‘destructive’, ‘productive’, and ‘integrative’ power and connecting them to realism, liberalism, and constructivism, respectively. It then considers the role of Europe in the world and concludes with an overview of factors affecting the prospects for a European foreign policy.

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Cover Politics in the European Union

17. Organized Interests  

This chapter focuses on the so-called organized interests, whose interaction with the formal European Union (EU) institutions is a central component of the EU’s decision-making process. The term ‘interest group’ refers to a range of organizations outside of the formal institutions that seek to influence decision making. They provide a link between state actors and the rest of society, also known as ‘civil society’. The chapter first considers the general growth of interest group activity at the European level before discussing the types of group that try to influence EU policy making and the forms of representation open to interests. It then explores the strategies and tactics that interest groups use to try to influence the different institutions. Finally, it analyses the issue of regulating interest group access to the EU institutions.

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21. Agriculture  

This chapter examines the European Union’s (EU’s) policy on agriculture. The importance that the EU has given to the agricultural sector can be attributed in large part to food shortages at the end of the Second World War. Governments agreed that it was important to ensure adequate supplies of food at reasonable prices. To achieve this, it was necessary to provide an adequate income to farmers, while taking measures to increase their productivity. The Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) was the first redistributive policy of the European Community, and for many years the only one. The chapter reviews the history of the CAP and explains the main drivers for reform, which include costs, EU enlargement, environmental pressures, and the growing powers of the European Parliament. Another key driver for change has stemmed from external pressure from world trade talks. The chapter concludes by reviewing the prospects for the next iteration of the CAP from 2021–27.