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(p. 165) 8. Implementation: Making the European Union’s International Relations Work 

(p. 165) 8. Implementation: Making the European Union’s International Relations Work
Chapter:
(p. 165) 8. Implementation: Making the European Union’s International Relations Work
Author(s):

Michael E. Smith

DOI:
10.1093/hepl/9780198737322.003.0008
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date: 20 October 2019

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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