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International Relations and the European Union

International Relations and the European Union (3rd edn)

Christopher Hill, Michael Smith, and Sophie Vanhoonacker
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date: 27 July 2021

p. 232. The European Union as a Subsystem of International Relationslocked

p. 232. The European Union as a Subsystem of International Relationslocked

  • Simon Duke
  •  and Sophie Vanhoonacker

Abstract

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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