Preface – The European Union as an Effective Global Power? Janos Herman, European Commission, Brussels Normative Power Europe. Paris, France, 1900 Indeed, when we look at the sheer numbers, the account is impressive: the EU accounts for 40% of all global trade, its GDP equals that of the US (and amounts to 25% of the world’s total GDP) while being twice as big as Japan’s and it is the world’s biggest exporter of both goods and services (Cameron, 2007). The European Union (EU) has been called an potential superpower by scholars and academics like T. R. Reid, Andrew Reding, Andrew Moravcsik, Mark Leonard, Jeremy Rifkin, John McCormick and some politicians such as Romano Prodi and Tony Blair. Matlary, J. London: Routledge. While the EU is obviously not effective in launching a major military campaign without the US – a task which it is not seeking at all anyway – it is severely engaged in post-conflict peace- and institution-building in the Balkans. Swiss National Museum, Zurich, Switzerland, Advert for Maison du Peuple Undersea cables made communication global. With practitioners like Charles de Gaulle aiming at a ‘Europe of Nations’ in the 1960s, Jacques Delors describing the EU an ‘unidentified political object’ in the 1980s (Drake, 2000) and Joschka Fischer proposing a ‘European Federation’ in 2000 (Fischer, 2000), some academics have called it a ‘super state’ (like Morgan, 2005), others a ‘normative power’ (like Manners, 2001) and still others evade the debate by simply denouncing it as an entity ‘sui generis’ (like MacCormick, 1999). The French revolutionaries’ attack on the Bastille prison in Paris on 14 July 1789 has become a famous symbol of resistance to corrupt rule and aristocratic privilege. Nationalism emerged as a revolutionary claim promising citizens more involvement in democracy, but it was exclusive, imagining a world of national territories inhabited by ethnically similar people. This was only made possible because the two different sides of European security thinking, France (the most important proponent of an autonomous and self-conscious EU vis-à-vis the US) and the United Kingdom (traditionally taking a US-oriented transatlantic approach), agreed to a common security framework in a Franco-British summit in St Malo. Written by: Christian Haas Date written: 2009, All content on the website is published under the following Creative Commons License, Copyright © — E-International Relations. The EU’s common currency is the euro. The arrival of the age of railways demonstrated Europe’s advance as an assured technological world leader. From Confederacy to Federation. While the EU is certainly committed to share its expertise of good governance and help the developing countries combating their problems, its handling of trade policy (e.g. By the end of the century Europe had reached the peak of its global power. Before you download your free e-book, please consider donating to Steam, smoke, factories, noise – all announced the beginning of the Industrial Revolution in Great Britain. Hiram Maxim, (Inventor) 1840-1916 1844 Indeed, it was the region of Central and Eastern Europe before the enlargement rounds of 2004 and 2007, respectively, and now South Eastern Europe, where the EU is able to extensively project its power on states and societies generally eager to join the European Club. 435-453. The International Relations of the European Union. Security Dialogue 38, pp. A time of optimism beckoned. Still, publics are relatively divided, as no more than half name either country as the top economy in most countries. It is generally subordinated to the overall foreign policy of an international actor. As McCormick (2007:15) has noted, it is the EU which has ‘redefined our understanding of the meaning of power’. All Rights Reserved | Site by Rootsy. Yet incidents like the European disunity in the Balkans led to a change of thinking within European decision-makers and the Maastricht, Amsterdam and Nice Treaties have consecutively enhanced foreign policy cooperation. Give feedback about this website or report a problem, Institutions, bodies & agencies – contact & visit details, Public contracts in the EU – rules and guidelines, Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU), European Economic and Social Committee (EESC), European Data Protection Supervisor (EDPS), The European Data Protection Board (EDPB). The telegraph allowed almost instant communication between distant places. Written for: Anthony Staddon Yet however commentators defined the EU, conventional wisdom for a long time classified the EU as weak, cleft, divided and incoherent regarding its role as an actor within international relations – which was and is obviously due to its unique role within international relations, its institutional structure, its democratic deficit the largely intergovernmental nature of its Common Foreign and Security Policy (CFSP) and, first and foremost, to the special nature of foreign policy as compared to other policy issues (McCormick, 2007). Workers in the 19th century were wage labourers who did not have legal protection or social security. The impact of the global economic crisis and Eurozone turbulence in 2008 was followed by a sustained rise in the employment rate over the next few years. The gender pay gap is generally much narrower for young employees and tends to widen with age. With just 6.9 % of the world's population, EU trade with the rest of the world accounts for some 15.6 % of global imports and exports. European Union (EU), international organization comprising 27 European countries and governing common economic, social, and security policies. Brussels, Belgium, 1899 What do Europeans think about international trade? On the other side, the EU lacks effectiveness towards those regions of the world, where it can not offer the prospect of membership and positive incentives or where its norms and values are not shared, e.g. Normally, an actor is considered ‘effective’ when it is able to influence other actors’ behaviours in the way it wants to do and when its large-scale aspirations are met by equally large-scale results. Moreover, the past has shown that development aid can become highly politicised, thus subverting the objective of equitable and sustainable development for the developing countries. The Idea of a European Superstate. http://www.jeanmonnetprogram.org/papers/00/joschka_fischer_en.rtf, The Energy Relationship Between Russia and the European Union, Extending European Union Membership to the Eastern Neighbourhood. Solana, J. It is only in recent years that an increasing number of academics have emphasized the unique tools it holds to influence international relations. The EU is generally not regarded as a 'global power': its internal division over the US-led intervenion in Iraq and its lack of a coherence towards the wars in the Balkans are cited as prominent examples of its weak standing in global politics.
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