The EU's foreign affairs are driven by its Common Foreign and Security Policy (CFSP) and also through the Commission-led economic trade negotiations. The EU's chief diplomat, sometimes dubbed its foreign minister, the High Representative. Foreign policy is still largely the domain of the member-states however and there has been significant disagreement between members. The failure to present a common voice on the world stage has led to the EU being sidelined in international negotiations. Enlargement of the Union's membership is a major political issue, with division over how far the bloc should expand. While some see it as a major policy instrument aiding the Union's development, some fear over-stretch and dilution of the Union

On this page not only information about the main hurdles that the EEAS will have to clear before it reaches its full potential, knowledge of political guidelines and an impression from Parag Khanna on world politics and the role in that for the weight of the EU, but also attention for an EU Global Strategy for foreign and security policy, reports on the MENA area, EU’s Strategic Partnership with Africa, the search for a robust EU-Russia policy by Poland, EU's Balkans operations
and Europe's China policy.

"More than a decade after the 2003 European Security Strategy, the world has changed dramatically. And we have changed as well. For this reason I have launched a period of strategic reflection on the EU’s way ahead in the world. It will lead
to an EU Global Strategy on Foreign and Security Policy. This process gives us the opportunity to forge a stronger and more effective EU foreign policy and engage the public on debates about foreign policy. In today's world foreign policy is not
just a question for experts – it affects all of us: from the food we eat and the clothes we wear to our daily security and the future prosperity of our children. This is why I believe it is important to involve all of you in our strategic reflection – to
hear many voices and get different perspectives. Through the website
EU Global Strategy I would like to have a broad conversation on the EU’s foreign policy interests, goals and means to achieve them'.

Towards a more effective,  
networked, and inclusive multilateral system


Dashboard | EEAS | Speech by High Representative Federica Mogherini at the UN Security Council on the European Union – United Nations cooperation 6 June 2016 | The road back to European power | a renewed Common Foreign and Security Policy | Ukraine_Russia | On EU foreign politics towards Russia | POLAND SEEKS ROBUST EU-RUSSIA POLICY | EU performance in foreign policy | Continental Regionalism | hurdles that the new body EEAS will have to clear | UK and foreign policy | On Georgia's incursion | foreign policy development of the European Union / civil missions | Parag Khanna



Far-reaching reflections are necessary about the kind of society we want to live in because fundamental changes in the relations and the balances between world powers are in full swing.

Europe has to answer a decisive question: Do we want to lead, shaping globalisation on the basis of our values and our interests – or will we leave the initiative to others and accept an outcome shaped by them? The alternatives are clear. A stark choice has to be made. Either Europeans accept to face this challenge together – or else we slide towards irrelevance.

EU in the world
A legal commentary on Council Decision 2010/427/EU File:Balkan topo en.jpg
NATO HQ entrance
predicting political hotspots
human rights, human migration, asylum at CEPS: Views from Tbilisi and Europe RENPET
fosters cutting edge research
EU foreign and security policy

the EU and Syria
(Paul Goldschmidt, '13

common security and defence policy

security and

Russia Institute for Security Studies (EUISS) is the Union’s agency dealing with the analysis of foreign, security and defence policy issues.



16 April 2015, HR EEAS about Europe's global role, history and future at Leiden University faculty governance and global affairs


“The EU must confront both the challenges and the opportunities that come with its changed environment” Mogherini argues in the report. “The very nature of our Union gives us a unique advantage to steer the way in a more complex, more connected, but also more contested world.” The High Representative stressed that current global trends make it necessary for the EU to adapt and set out its course ahead: “The world is more connected than at any point in the past, the same is true for the European Union. An effective response hinges on the European Union's ability to make choices and prioritise areas where it can and wants to make a difference.”

The European Union does not have the luxury to turn inwards. We have a responsibility to protect our citizens while promoting our interests and universal values.” Mogherini argues in the report. To do this, it will be essential to work even more closely together at European level and with partners around the globe: The European Union has all the means to be an influential global layer in future – if it acts together. We need a common, comprehensive and consistent EU global strategy. We need to forge a new social contract with European citizens also through foreign policy.” Read here the strategic review.

Mogherini: ‘EU policy not decided in the US’

We keep the values we share, but if Trump does not want to share the same EU-values, Brussels and the European capitals decide to follow their own policies independently. NATO is not only the cornerstone of EU security but also of US security says EU-foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini. She is therefore convinced that president-elect Donald Trump will stand by the transatlantic alliance.

Allied Defence Ministers discussed practical steps to take forward NATO’s cooperation with the European Union on Thursday (27 October 2016). Ministers were joined by the EU High Representative Federica Mogherini, as well as the Defence Ministers of Finland and Sweden. Briefing the media, NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg highlighted the benefits of closer NATO-EU cooperation.
High Representative Federica Mogherini prepared an EU Global Strategy for foreign and security policy June 2016. In her assessment of the current global environment, the High Representative made the case for a strategy to steer the Union's global action and set priorities in a rapidly changing environment.
In June 2016, the European Union launched its new ‘Global Strategy for Foreign and Security Policy’. In less unusual times, it would have been received as merely the latest iteration of the main tenets and ambitions of EU external action, this time with an enhanced dose of pragmatism to respond to a more challenging international environment. However, with the contours of ‘Brexit’ becoming clearer and the start of the Trump Presidency in the United States, the EU’s Global Strategy has acquired a whole new level of significance. This paper argues that while meant to express a largely uncontroversial consensus, it now needs to be recontextualized as a distinctive vision in the face of trends of anti-globalism and Euroscepticism. This concerns in particular its emphasis on rules-based global governance.

Challenged by both President Trump ‘America First’ policy and the British government’s course for a ‘hard Brexit’, the Global Strategy represents a blueprint and rallying point for a continued pursuit of a liberal world order based on the rule of law

Speech by High Representative Federica Mogherini at the UN Security Council on the European Union – United Nations cooperation 6 June 2016:

Monsieur le Président, Monsieur le Secrétaire General,

Ambassadeurs, chers amis,

Je souhaite tout d'abord remercier la Présidence Française pour l'organisation de ce débat – pour la deuxième fois en un an- , et pour sa capacité à construire des convergence globales. Celle-ci nous a permis d’obtenir le succès que l'on a vu sur le climat à Paris. Je veux aussi envoyer mes meilleurs voeux à nos collègues et amis musulmans pour le début du Ramadan.

I shall switch to English. When we last discussed cooperation between our European Union and the UN one year ago, I had just taken office as the Union’s High Representative, and it was my first time in the Security Council. Since then, I came back to this room also to discuss migration and our fight against terrorism. And I cannot count all the exchanges, the meetings, the common work I’ve done with UN agencies all around the world, and with so many of you, in different multilateral formats.

I believe this is the only way we have – as Europeans, as responsible members of the international community – to face these difficult times in the history of the world. The entire Middle East is in turmoil – with so many forces trying to redefine the regional balance of power, and so many people calling for an end to their suffering.

Inequalities are on the rise in big parts of the globe. Climate change is challenging the economy and the security of large parts of our world. An unprecedented number of people is on the move. Tens of millions are fleeing from war, looking for a chance of survival, or for a better life.

We often say that Europe is facing a refugee crisis. Let us always remember: this is first and foremost a “crisis” for the men, women and children who are going through it, as they flee their homes. And it concerns the whole world, it’s a global issue, not just a European one.

But indeed our own continent faces a great deal of challenges.

Our cities have been hit by terrorist attacks – just like so many other places in the world, in Africa, Asia, America. Hatred and violence are growing within our own societies. Together with inequality and insecurity, xenophobia, Islamophobia and anti-Semitism are also on the rise. In times like these, we need each other. We need all nations to come together, united. We need the United Nations. Because only together we draw the way forward, and make sure that tomorrow will be better than today.

One year ago I told this Security Council that our European Union believes in multilateralism and believes in the United Nations. Today I can add that multilateralism will be one of the core principles and priorities in our new Global Strategy for foreign and security policy, which I will present in the coming weeks. But what truly matters to me, is that we are turning this commitment to multilateralism into practice, on a daily basis. This has also been possible thanks to you, Mr. Secretary General, and to the whole senior leadership of the United Nations. Our cooperation in these months and years has been truly excellent. And this makes such a difference, in so many places in the world.

Our European Union has put multilateralism at the core of our common external agenda. We have learnt the hard way, that unilateralism doesn’t pay off. This is no time for global policemen. This is no time for lonely warriors. If we want to finally put an end to the many crises we face – and most of all if we want to prevent new ones before they explode – our only hope is to work as truly United Nations. The hardest the task, the stronger our cooperation must be.


In a moment I will talk about Syria, Libya and other crises that are constantly on top of our common agenda, and also of the news cycle. But let me start with a much older conflict, that will soon enter its eighth decade. Let us not wait for the next open war between the Israelis and the Palestinians. Because this is what will happen, if they don’t go back now to meaningful negotiations.

The proliferation of conflicts and crises in the region of the Middle East is not a reason to forget about the fate of the Israelis and the Palestinians. On the contrary. The new security threats in the Middle East should push everyone to renew our efforts towards ending this conflict. This is first and foremost in the interest of every singe Israeli and every single Palestinian – and the events in the rest of the region make it even more urgent than in the past.

A further escalation, especially around the holy sites in Jerusalem, would have grave consequences for the whole region. On the contrary, peaceful solution to the conflict – with bold leadership by both sides – could unlock genuine regional cooperation. The Israelis would benefit from it, and the Palestinians would benefit from it.

The entire Middle East, Europe and the world – we would all benefit from peace. It would set a new paradigm of cooperation in the Middle East. Peace in the Holy Places would send such a powerful message to the entire world.

That is why I made the Middle East peace process – if it can still be called a peace process – a top priority for our action, in the very moment when the perspective of the two States is getting beyond reach.




The possibility of a secure State of Israel and a viable State of Palestine living side by side is fading away. And together with the perspective of the two-States, peace would also get beyond reach. The trends could not be more clear. First. Violence and incitement are not just inflicting terrible human suffering: they amplify the mistrust between the two communities. Second. Israel’s policy of settlements systematically erodes the prospects for a viable two state solution. It also raises serious and legitimate questions about the real Israeli leadership’s ultimate goals. Third. The lack of unity between the Palestinian factions is still a major stumbling block. Each of these trends – alone and combined – could make the two-State solution impossible to achieve. We would risk the collapse of all hope.

The Israeli and the Palestinian leaders hold a responsibility towards their people, towards the region and towards the world. They can halt destructive policies and rhetoric, reverse the trend, and finally rebuild the conditions for meaningful negotiations. The future of it is in the hands of the two peoples, and of their leaders. Right now, we all know there is no peace process at all. And the international community can’t just sit and wait till the next war.

We keep believing in Europe that the entire world has to do its part. Last year, the European Union pushed to revitalise the Middle East Quartet. We have had several meeting at principals’ level, to draw together the way forward. Here in New York we invited Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Jordan and the Arab League to also join the discussion. The cooperation among our envoys has proceeded for months. So let me thank the United Nations, the United States and Russia for all the common work we have done so far. A few days ago in Paris we discussed how the international community can help and accompany this work.

As you know the Quartet Report will be made public very soon. We will describe very frankly the immediate obstacles to direct talks, and the policies that threaten the viability of a two-State solution. We will also make clear recommendations on the way forward. With one main goal: to recreate some confidence between the two sides, and the conditions to go back to meaningful negotiations. Because we are convinced that the current stalemate is not sustainable: there is no status quo, and we all know it. If the situation does not improve, it will get worse. And this is something no one can afford – no one, and first of all the Israelis and the Palestinians.


We need to be as realist as we can in analysing the difficulties, risks and threats of the region and of today’s world. But we also have to recognise the signs of hope when we see them, or when we manage to build them. It is a strong reminder that change is possible, and change for the better, if the international community is united and focused.

Just in July last year this Council endorsed our deal on Iran’s nuclear program. The deal in itself was a major success of patient multilateral diplomacy. Six months later the deal was implemented. And we keep monitoring the full implementation of all its parts, counting also on the good cooperation with the International Atomic Energy Agency. In parallel, the European Union is working to make sure that the benefits of the deal reach the Iranian people and improve regional cooperation.

Because after the deal we all knew we had to build on the positive momentum. In November we met again in Vienna, where the deal was signed, with a new International Syria Support Group. For the first time since the beginning of the war, all regional and international actors were finally at the same table. Since then, let me say that Staffan de Mistura has been doing a truly amazing job, and much has been achieved. But we all know that the process has come to a critical point. It is vital that humanitarian aid reaches a greater number of areas. It is vital for too many people in need for help, and it is vital also for starting real negotiations among the Syrian parties in Geneva. We know how fragile this whole process is – and probably it will continue to be. So much blood has been shed, and national reconciliation won’t be easy at all. But there is no other way to stop the carnage, give hope to the Syrians and defeat Daesh.

Europe is doing its part: we reopened our humanitarian office in Damascus, we are engaged on the ground as the first donor to Syria and the Syrian people, and we play our role in encouraging and accompanying the political track. Staffan de Mistura knows he can always count on our full and active support.

I was myself personally in Geneva, meeting the parties upon his request, during the last round of talks. All international actors need to do whatever they can to make the cessation of hostilities work, the delivery of humanitarian aid move and the negotiations start, and finally move towards a political transition for Syria. Our divisions – here in this room, in the international community, in the region – would only benefit Daesh, and chaos.


And as I mentioned Daesh, Iraq must also remain high on our agenda – as a centrepiece for stabilisation in the broader region. Good progress has been made in the military campaign. The fight in Fallujah is on-going as we speak. But there are also concerns: the liberation of areas must be followed by rapid stabilisation and restoration of services. The EU is doing its part and will continue to contribute to both humanitarian and stabilisation needs.

And the campaign against Daesh needs to be framed by an adequate political settlement. We continue to support Prime Minister Abadi’s efforts in this respect. All political players must seek a swift resolution to the current political impasse. We remain as international community committed to the unity, sovereignty and territorial integrity of Iraq.



And unity of the international community and of the region is also central for Libya. I know some had lost hope that the Presidency Council would ever be formed and arrive in Tripoli. But they have, and this would not have been possible without this Council’s unity and Martin Kobler’s excellent work. I know he is briefing you in a few hours, so I will limit my remarks to the European Union’s work on Libya – in strong coordination with him. In Vienna, last month we all restated our support to the government of national accord. Our European Union has started to mobilise a package of 100 million euros to make Libya’s new start possible and make Libyans live their lives in safety and dignity. Which is what they deserve.

Last month the Libyan government has invited our Union to provide training to the Libyan coast guard and navy. I spoke with Prime Minister al Serraj about the modalities last Friday. For us it is key that anything we do is planned and delivered according to Libya’s full ownership and Libya’s priorities. Training the Libyan coast guard and navy will be an opportunity to put Libyans in the conditions of saving lives at sea, dismantling the criminal economy of human smugglers, controlling the countries territorial waters effectively, and creating a safe environment for Libyan fishermen.

Let me spend a few more words on how we are working in the Mediterranean. Last spring, when we decided to launch a naval operation – Operation Sophia – against the traffickers’ networks, we asked for a Security Council resolution to endorse our mission. You were impressively united in doing so, and I thank you for that. Since then, thousands of lives have been saved, over a hundred assets seized and many traffickers brought to justice. On 23 May, we decided to extend that mandate of the Operation by a year.

Now, once again, we are asking this Council to adopt a Resolution on authorising Operation Sophia to enforce the UN arms embargo on the high seas, off the coast of Libya. This is the course of action that our European Union has chosen: constant coordination with the United Nations, to best serve our collective interests, the interest of the international community as a whole. This is the place where international action should be discussed, decided and authorised. And I can only hope that this Council will once again do the right thing, and help us make the Mediterranean a safer place, for everyone starting with our Libyan friends.


With so many crisis taking the headlines, Yemen risks not to get the attention it deserves. Yet, the need for a political solution and for addressing the dire humanitarian situation is just as urgent there as it is elsewhere in the region and in the world. We support the Special Envoy Ismail Ould Cheikh Ahmed in his work. Progress has been made during the peace talks in Kuwait in the last five weeks, and I thank Kuwait for that. We should encourage the parties and players in the region to seriously engage with a constructive attitude.


While we deal with Syria, Libya, Yemen, we could not forget of other crises, including at our Union’s Eastern borders. The end of the conflict in Ukraine remains a top priority for the EU. The Minsk agreements have to be fully implemented in all their parts, if we want the situation in eastern Ukraine to calm down. The UN office for coordination on humanitarian affairs is doing a precious job in mapping and organising humanitarian assistance there. The UN reports on human rights in Ukraine – financed by our European Union – are also of great help to monitor the situation.

The European Union will continue to stand for Ukraine’s territorial integrity – and does not recognise the illegal annexation of Crimea and Sevastopol. We are working closely with Kiev to help them achieve the reforms the country so urgently needs. So let me mention the important constitutional amendments approved just days ago, which will improve the efficiency and independence of the judiciary. But they really matter because they can also build momentum for the adoption of the amendments on decentralisation and other reforms. It is an important achievement. It is also an important opportunity to move the country forward – and to address the needs of all the citizens of Ukraine.


But our cooperation with the United Nations goes well beyond our immediate region. The more I travel the world, the more I realise that many of our partners already consider our Union as a global security provider.

Colombia might sound like a far away place to many Europeans. And yet, we are following very closely the negotiations that could put an end to one of the world’s older conflicts. I was there just a few days ago to sign some important agreements, bringing already our concrete support to the peace process and in particular to the demining efforts. I confirmed to President Santos our willingness to engage even more on the implementation of the deal, as soon as it will be reached. Our coordination with the planned UN observer mission will be crucial.

Moving to the other side of the world, next October we will host in Brussels a major international conference on Afghanistan. After so many years, a peaceful Afghanistan will only be possible if regional powers and the international community will also unite and accompany the peace and reconciliation process, and the economic and social development of the country.

On this and on many other files the unity of the Security Council is one of the most powerful assets in our hands, for promoting peace. For instance, a greater involvement of the Council to monitor the security situation in Burundi would be most welcome. A UN police mission could deter further threats to peace in the country, and the EU stands ready to cooperate with the United Nations to this end.


Our common work can build on so much positive experience. Take the Central African Republic, where the EU and the UN joined forces to restore the basic functioning of the police and gendarmerie. Our efforts contributed to the political transition and the instalment of new, democratically elected authorities.

In the Democratic Republic of Congo, our European Union keeps supporting the work of MONUSCO and of UN agencies. The current political uncertainty risks to evolve into a full blown crisis, with spill-overs in an already fragile region.

In fact, our common work cannot be limited to crisis management. Even if these difficult times require much of it. Still, the best way to address a crisis is to prevent it. And this is a field where the UN and our European Union can do so much together.


When we discussed Agenda 2030 and the Sustainable Development Goals, it was clear to everyone that Europe and the UN shared the very same approach to security and development. When we invest in growth, we are also investing in security. Our cooperation has started to yield results. The Paris agreement on climate, the Sustainable Development Goals – these are opportunities to overturn a narrow and short-term concept of security. We will now work to ensure their full implementation.


The same approach has now become integral part of our response to migration and the current refugee crisis. I have already mentioned our Operation Sophia, and the great job it is doing together with Frontex, the Italian vessels and our partners – including NATO – to save lives and chase human smugglers. But there is much more than that. We need to prevent that those lives are put in danger – both at sea and in the desert, where thousands die far from our eyes and our TVs.

This is why tomorrow I will be in Strasbourg to present, together with my colleagues in the European Commission, the plan for a new “migration partnership” with our friends in our region and in Africa. Migration and displacement are one of the great challenges of our era. Our response is the measure of our very humanity.

There are some key facts that Europe cannot overlook, which will be central to our new partnerships. We too often forget that countries like Ethiopia or Kenya, let alone Lebanon and Jordan, host huge numbers of refugees. Hospitality is not an easy task: we experience it every single day. The closure of the Dadaab camp in Kenya could have dramatic humanitarian consequences – and our European Union is following the issue very closely, together with the United Nations and all relevant agencies.

For these reasons we will further reinforce our Trust Funds, which are already providing healthcare and food to those in need, and are creating jobs for the refugees and for their host communities. But we also know that public money alone will never be enough. So a key component of our migration partnerships will be to attract private investments on key projects. Africa has a huge potential for growth, and we must manage to get the private sector on board.

We must also offer opportunities: the best way to dismantle the illegal business is to work on legal avenues for human mobility. Europe needs to do its share, but we also count on our partners here – in the UN and in this Security Council – to do the same. I do look forward to the Summit in September, where migration will be recognised for what it is: a global phenomenon, concerning all of us.


Stronger partnerships are the building blocs of our foreign policy. All today’s challenges transcend borders and national sovereignties. None of us, alone, can carry the weight of the world on its shoulders. But we all have a role to play, together with others, in a multilateral framework. So our European Union will seek more and more to reinforce old ties and create new ones. This is true in our bilateral relations, but it is even more true on a regional and global level. A network of regional alliances can truly contribute to global peace and security.

That’s why we invest in regional networks and organisations. For instance, we have supported African-led peace efforts through the Africa Peace Facility since the very beginning, with more than 1.6 billion euros in the last ten years. It is now time to make sure that Africa’s capacities are provided in a more sustainable and efficient manner. This is first of all in Africa’s interest, to strengthen the continent and its regional structures against the many challenges it faces.

Our cooperation with the African Union, with the Arab League, with CELAC and ASEAN can only grow stronger. In some parts of the world, we need to strengthen existing organisations. In other cases, we need new and creative formats. Our recent experience with Libya and Syria shows the effectiveness of ad-hoc formats working in close coordination with the UN envoys.

Despite all setbacks, despite all the stops and goes, multilateralism has shown its strength. Formats can change, and institutions must be reformed. But in our conflictual world, where power is scattered and diffuse, global peace and security only stands a chance if our nations and our regions are united. Our European Union will always come back to the United Nations, to the core of the international multilateral system, to the stubborn idea of a cooperative world order.

Thank you.

New York, 6 June 2016


  The road back to European power
The EU needs an honest assessment of its capabilities and to set limited goals behind which member states can show sustainable unity. “The road back to European power”, is published after the European Council’s green-light for stage two of Federica Mogherini’s global strategy review, a review that ECFR experts support and have long called for. They assert that the EU can still act effectively in protection of its interests and values -- provided that it is severely realistic in its approach. To this end, it recommends a strict prioritisation of the challenges Mogherini highlights in her report, with Russia and the Ukraine conflict and crises in the Middle East and North Africa as immediate priorities. To deal with the potential weaknesses of Europe’s internal dynamics of sometimes coinciding, sometimes clashing national interests, it recommends the creation of a group of member state representatives, who can act as an ‘intergovernmental convention’to map member state interests over the coming year.

The paper also recommends a number of key structural and political changes including:
• a prioritised human rights/rule of law agenda for each regional strategy, and notably with China, in order to ensure the ‘values’ element is a clear part of overall European strategy. Where cooperation is required with violators, the EU should avoid the ‘endorsement trap’ : making clear that while we will need to co-operation will be on a transactional basis
• a new division of labour in transatlantic relations whereby the EU plays as central a role in security relations as NATO, and in which Europe’s larger states – notably Germany – take on greater responsibility within the alliance.

On the eastern neighbourhood and Russia, the paper recommends:
• a supportive approach towards the eastern neighbourhood – bolstering their security and economic independence.
• ‘tough love’ – twin tracks of sanctions and outreach towards Russia, making it clear that we want a functioning long-term relationship but one that doesn’t undermine our values.

On the Middle East and North Africa, the paper recommends:
• supporting regional actors taking responsibility for their neighbourhood, but engage in de escalatory diplomacy where we can add value.
• targeting our limited aid where we can make a difference: on states so far less embroiled in the regional turmoil to ensure that they are not pulled further in i.e. Jordan, Lebanon, Morocco and Tunisia.

On Africa, the paper recommends
• developing a Euro-African framework for security cooperation in dealing with terrorist groups.
• targeting European aid to support crisis prevention, governance and the rule of law in the continent’s most fragile states, including Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea.

Susi Dennison, co-author of “The road back to European power” and co-director of ECFR’s European Power programme, said: “In 2003, Europe was a success story, epitomised by the famous claim 'Europe has never been so prosperous, so secure nor so free'. The rest of the world seemed anxious to emulate us and liberal democracy looked set to spread around the globe.

“In 2015, such optimism is a distant dream. Beset by economic and political travails, the EU and its member states have become anxious, and introverted. Crises burn on Europe’s borders and policy makers are increasingly aware how much global power has leached away from Europe. “Europe’s global strategy must reflect this new reality. We cannot go on as we have done, aspiring to a leading role and falling short of this when confronted with our new place in the international system. “Europe still has a strong range of tools at its disposal – diplomatic, developmental, security and economic – and the possibility of adding more military and cyber capabilities to its arsenal. But it will need all member states to come together, determine their shared priorities and assess the prospects for effective action in order for them to be properly deployed”.


a renewed Common Foreign and Security Policy  
The Lisbon Treaty presents the possibility to harness foreign policy, including establishing of an External European Action Service (EEAS). In this connection the European Commission drafted in 2010, Political Guidelines a catalogue to develop the guidelines into the more detailed programme and released CEPS in February 2013 the book 'The New EU Foreign Policy Architecture: Reviewing the first two years of the EEAS'. A systematic annual assessment of Europe’s performance in dealing with the rest of the world is the European Foreign Policy Scorecard. The scorecard assesses the performance of the 28 member states and the EU institutions on 79 policy areas arranged around the six key themes China, Russia, United States, wider Europe, Middle East & North Africa, multilateral issues.

Brussels Think Tank Dialogue 2014 discussed the policy. The economic crisis has soaked up attention during the last few years and in a rapidly changing world, the EU must constantly renew its foreign policy credentials or face irrelevance. Three key challenges were taken up in the field of foreign policy: (1) The momentum generated by the December summit on a Common Security and Defence Policy must be sustained and translated into political action, (2) EU relations with Asia, one of the world’s most dynamic regions, must be reviewed and revised, and (3) EU leadership changes in 2014 will provide an opportunity to address some fundamental challenges facing the Union’s foreign policy and overall external performance. The coherence and effectiveness of EU foreign policy could be substantially enhanced if there is better coordination between the (EEAS) and the external dimension of European Commission policies as well as improved collaboration between EU member states and the EEAS.


In November 2013, there was in the capital Kiev a protest movement in response following not signing an association agreement with the European Union. The Russian minded President Viktor Janoekovytsj fled in response to these protests to Russia. Meanwhile in Kiev a new government was formed, the government Jatsenjoek. In the predominantly Russian-speaking parts of Ukraine protests broke out against the new government, after which Russia occupied Crimean peninsula. On March 18, 2014, Russia annexed Crimea, despite heavy protests from including the USA and the EU.

CEPS Senior Research Fellow and Head of the EU Foreign Policy unit issued 25 July 2014 a policy brief on the need for more flexibility in EU foreign-policy-making in the case of Ukraine and Russia. After the illegal annexation of Crimea and Russia’s indirect responsibility for the downing of Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 in eastern Ukraine, what will it take before the EU can effectively confront a conflict on its borders and prove to both its own citizens and third countries that it has a meaningful role to play in foreign policy?
With numerous competing national interests and some member states unwilling to pay different prices for collective action, any sector-wide EU sanctions are likely to lack serious bite. In an effort to paper over the cracks, the following recommendations should be taken into account.

  • The High Representative, supported by the EEAS, should use the policy space between the institutions and the member states by initiating collective action and ensuring that the EU’s ample toolbox is better used by institutions and member states alike. Such efforts should start with activating the EEAS’ Crisis Platform to coordinate EU and national capabilities;

  • Member states should show more solidarity with their fellow Council members and reach out more pro-actively to the EEAS as a hub to coordinate joint action;

  • The Council should decide by QMV to define collective action on the basis of a European Council decision (or a proposal by the High Representative following a request from the European Council) regarding the EU’s strategic interests and objectives vis-à-vis Russia and Ukraine;

  • When national interests are considered to be important but not vital, the constructive abstention mechanism should be invoked by those member states that, for diplomatic reasons, object to the partial or full interruption or reduction of economic and financial relations with Russia, but that at the same time do not wish to derail consensus in the Council on the adoption a CFSP decision. This decision should form the legal basis for the subsequent adoption of implementing acts by the Council, deciding by QMV on the necessary restrictive measures;

  • As chair of the Foreign Affairs Council, the High Representative should remind individual member states of their duty of loyal cooperation under the CFSP and nudge them towards constructive abstention from decision-making. This would allow solidarity among member states and collective action by the EU to prevail over internal divisions.

CEPS Policy Briefs present concise, policy-oriented analyses of topical issues in European affairs. Unless otherwise indicated, the views expressed are attributable only to the authors in a personal capacity and not to any institution with which they are associated. Available for free downloading from the CEPS website (  © CEPS 2014. Centre for European Policy Studies▪ Place du Congrès 1 ▪ B-1000 Brussels ▪ Tel: (32.2) 229.39.11 ▪


  On EU foreign politics towards Russia
Bruno Lété, a senior program officer for foreign and security policy with the German Marshall Fund of the United States in Brussels, wrote:

The European Union and Russia are set to meet on January 28, 2014 for their biannual summit. These events, usually box-ticking affairs, have rarely served as venues for honest debate about tough issues. But this time frustrations seem to have exceeded courtesies and the planned two-day summit has been cut to a restricted three-hour meeting. While relations between Europe and Russia have matured significantly in technical areas such as trade, energy, tourism, and education, Europeans were never prepared for Russian President Vladimir Putin plunging them into a vicious zero-sum game over the fate of Central and Eastern Europe. Europeans are angered at Russia’s role in dissuading post-Soviet states from seeking a rapprochement with Brussels. Russia’s probing of Europeans’ weaknesses, and Europe’s difficulties in dealing with it, has led to stagnation and much mistrust.

Moscow’s assertive diplomatic use of energy security, punitive trade measures, moneylending, and military might has successfully weakened EU strategies aimed at offering greater economic integration with many post-Soviet states in return for good governance. And with plans in the making for a Eurasian Union between Russia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, and potentially also Ukraine, Armenia, Tajikistan, and Kyrgyzstan, Putin might become even more successful at keeping Europe out of what he considers Russia’s legitimate sphere of influence. As a result, Europe’s eastern neighborhood is not transforming into a region of liberal, well-governed countries, but into a collection of economically weak nation-states ruled by semi-authoritarian regimes loyal to Moscow.

Brussels’ response to this challenge has been minimal. But the EU is not completely to blame for being at risk of losing its East. The responsibility lies with the member states who have found it difficult to stick together and provide Brussels with the necessary tools to act like a serious geopolitical actor. In the long run, the failure to adopt a credible neighborhood policy will probably mean more difficulty in managing tensions with Russia.

An immediate priority for European leaders should be taking a fresh look at how they deal with their eastern neighborhood. The Vilnius Summit last November gave the final blow to an EU policy that too closely followed the enlargement process without giving partner countries the prospect of actual EU membership. Moreover, the benefits that the EU offers in exchange for political reform are dwarfed by some of the sums pledged by Moscow to aid certain countries’ financial woes. But despite setbacks, the EU must make clear that it remains committed to the region’s modernization and development. An important signal would be to redesign and launch an updated Ostpolitik. Measures could range from helping countries diversify their sources of energy to opening up the European single market for specific products, without necessarily having to tie countries to a comprehensive trade agreement.

Another priority is to keep pushing for socio-political change within Russia. Here Germany could play an invaluable role. Even as the cozy camaraderie between Berlin and Moscow has come to an end, Germany’s value-based foreign policy combined with its leading investment position in the Russian economy can help spur the modernization of Russian society and pressurize elites to respect civil rights and the rule of law. At the same time, Chancellor Angela Merkel should hold firm to her position that countries in Europe’s neighborhood must be able to decide about their own future. Germany has the strength to mobilize European support and resources to assist countries like Moldova and Georgia that seek to sail a more independent course from Moscow. In that respect, Germany will find committed allies in countries like Poland and Sweden that can help Berlin embed efforts into a wider EU strategy.

Finally, the EU must find the guts to put economic and hard security on top of the bilateral agenda with Moscow. It cannot shrug its shoulders to the routine violations of Latvian, Estonian, Lithuanian, Polish, Finnish, Swedish, or British airspaces by Russian warplanes. And now that Russia is a member of the World Trade Organization, the EU can call out Moscow for its suspicious trade blockades, like Russia did with European meat, fish, and milk exports. Moreover, as Europe’s neighborhood has become Russia’s near abroad, Europeans must work to stabilize this region, which is important for energy supplies or immigration challenges. But Moscow’s refusal to reduce its military presence in the region’s frozen conflicts has kept certain countries in dysfunction for over a decade. And in the cases of Transnistria, Abkhazia, and South-Ossetia, Russia’s growing military and diplomatic presence in these breakaway provinces seems to be a direct challenge to Moldovan and Georgian aspirations to seek closer ties with the European Union.

For Europe, maintaining dialogue and cooperation with Russia is important, but it cannot do so by resorting to its usual laissez-faire attitude. A failure to address the tough questions would only lead to more stagnation.


20.05.2010 @ 17:30 CET

EUOBSERVER / BRUSSELS - Keen to place itself at the centre of EU policy-making on Russia, Poland has flagged up some concerns over preparations for the upcoming European summit in Rostov-on-Don.

Speaking in an interview with EUobserver on Wednesday (18 May), Polish EU ambassador Jan Tombinski said that Warsaw backs new EU plans to help modernise the Russian economy and to move toward visa-free travel with its vast neighbour in the east. The European Commission is currently negotiating a "Partnership for Modernisation" with Moscow, to be unveiled in Rostov at the end of this month, envisaging more investment in Russia by EU firms in high-tech sectors such as microelectronics in return for Russian improvements to the rule of law. {?}

The summit could also see the EU give Russia a 'political' promise to lift visa requirements in the coming years, despite worries in some EU capitals, including Berlin, that the move could encourage migrants from Central Asia to flock to Europe. "We like the idea of a modern Russia very much - a modern country is one which does not have to choose between stability and democratic principles. One that practices predictable politics, which supports pluralistic political life," Mr Tombinski said.

Russian President Dmitry Medvedev in his two years in office has increased the appetite for reform in the Russian political elite, the ambassador added. He noted that lifting visas for Russia or other post-Soviet countries would not be a radical change for Poland, which had no local visa barriers until 2003, when it changed rules to meet EU accession criteria: "In that sense, today's discussion is for us a way to return to normality in contacts with Russia and the region."
Polish Prime Minister Donald Tusk has since coming to power in 2007 tried to put relations with Russia on a more friendly footing after a series of messy disagreements between Warsaw and Moscow under Mr Tusk's predecessors, the Kaczynski twins.

With the Polish EU presidency in 2011, Warsaw hoped its pragmatic approach gave it more clout in EU discussions on Russia policy. But despite the change in tone, Mr Tombinski said the "modernisation" initiative should take into account some difficult questions about Russia's intentions. "It would be a danger if the EU, by engaging with Russia didn't actually help it to modernise itself. If the EU, for example, with the new 'partnership' allowed a transfer of know-how that strengthened the powers of its military and security bodies and put at risk the development of civil society and the rule of law," he said.


EU performance in foreign policy

With instability and conflict in its immediate neighbourhood, the foreign-policy effectiveness of the EU and its member states is continuously challenged. How can or should the EU respond?
Following the third edition of the annual ECFR European Foreign Policy Scorecard, campus The Hague of Leiden University, the Clingendael Institute and the European Council of Foreign Relations (ECFR) organized 4 March 2013 a public debate on EU performance in foreign policy.

There is need for united action on EU level. There is also a lack of militry capabilities of the EU. Traditionally EU action across the borders focuses on soft power with a normative character, but as the guarantee of American (hard) power support in the region decreases, the EU cannot postpone the development of its own military capacity. The question is whether this should go beyond the pooling and sharing of capabilities.

In a changing multipolar world, the future of EU foreign policy remain uncertain. The need exists for a more pragmatic approach towards EU foreign policy and a better use of conditionality based on shared interests. This could be the foundation for the incremental creation of a stronger EU foreign and security policy, which is highly necessary if the EU wants to build a credible reputation as a world player.

Continental Regionalism

February 2013, CEPS composed the working paper 'Europe's Continental Regionalism'. This paper reviews the multiple forms of European continental regionalism, which takes the overall shape of a complex set of concentric circles, with a substructure of a core group within the EU based on the euro and Schengen areas, and several rings of neighbours outside, including the European Economic Area, the regions of the EU’s neighbourhood policy and finally some pan-European organisations. While all world regions have their own unique features, the European case offers some important lessons that should be of interest to other world regions:

  • the first is what appears to be a relatively robust model for single market integration;

  • the second consists of the lessons currently being learned on the hazards on monetary integration without adequate fiscal and political integration;

  • the third lesson is another warning, over the difficulties of anticipating the political dynamics of integration processes once set in motion, often described in Europe as a ‘journey to an unknown destination’;

  • the fourth consists of the EU’s current efforts to develop a comprehensive neighbourhood policy, which is encountering difficult issues of matching ambitious objectives with incentives of adequate weight. Nevertheless, the policy sees a landscape of positive and constructive relations between the EU and its neighbours, in marked contrast to some ugly conflictual or coercive features seen in the cases of other continental hegemons – the three BRIC states of China, India and Russia, but not the fourth one, Brazil.
hurdles that the new body EEAS will have to clear
Speaking at the CEPS Annual Conference 2011, Ambassador Pierre Vimont, Executive Secretary General of the European External Action Service, outlined the main hurdles that the new body EEAS will have to clear before it reaches its full potential.

First, the French diplomat explained that while new institutions are usually created by building on preexisting structures, the Treaty of Lisbon had taken parts from two different institutions to establish the EEAS, so the complexity was even greater than in the past. This also gave rise to certain tensions between staff drawn from two different institutional cultures.In this respect, the EEAS finds itself “right in the middle of the long and protracted battle between community and intergovernmental system”, and the Corporate board is trying to blend the two approaches. The EEAS also takes a comprehensive approach in a different respect, notably by adding to the traditional tasks of foreign policy and diplomacy, responsibilities for development aid. When confronted with an international issue, it will therefore be able to look at its different dimensions, and provide more workable solutions.

This more complete tool kit, which incidentally is what NATO has been trying to acquire in recent years, should be regarded as a key feature and meaningful progress. It will give the EU an edge when it comes to global governance. However, if it wants to rise to new challenges, the Union will have to put its house in order, and again this is what the EEAS is about. To illustrate this point, Vimont referred to recent events in Tunisia, highlighting the difficulties facing European officials. Indeed the uprising there lacked a formal leader and was not even tied to any given political party. The fact that it is a grassroots movement makes the situation more complicated; because of the lack of an identifiable interlocutor, the EU will have to find a way of dealing with the actors on the ground.The speaker also dismissed any comparisons with the events of 1989, stressing that the context is quite different, politically, historically and socially. in particular, the power of attraction, the ‘magnetic force’ that the EU exercised vis-à-vis Eastern Europe back then is not present in this instance. On the contrary, with regard to the events in North Africa, the union may play a part, but it is in ‘competition’ with the rest of the international community. Therefore, if it wants to play a leading role, the EU will have to come up with “powerful, efficient and valuable contributions”.

Responding to questions from the audience, the Executive Secretary General also addressed the situation in Libya, explaining that if the anti-Gaddafi forces insurgents gained enough momentum, the EU could recognise them and also put in place a no-fly zone. He acknowledged that the EU’s response to this grave problem will be defi ning, since regardless of the overall positive balance of Eu foreign policy, “North Africa is our moment of truth, because it is our neighbourhood”.

Returning to the question of the Middle East peace process, Vimont admitted that there is reason for concern, especially because of the gridlock. in this respect, neither Israel nor Palestine has agreed to come back to the table. However, one should not despair and the developments in Egypt could represent an opportunity rather than a challenge.

  UK and foreign policy
'British Influence', a new independent advocacy campaign that wants Britain to lead in Europe, published an article on 'Britain's objectives in the world' that argues that it is the duty of every government to promote world-wide interests and to fulfill world-wide responsibilities. The viewpoint says that "our capacity to handle these critical foreign policy challenges, even if it did ever exist, has vanished", wonders how is that best done in the kaleidoscopically shifting circumstances of the post-Cold War world, where the symptoms of a new world disorder and the impact of the great financial and economic crisis of 2008 complicate the process of policy-making, and raises the question what the priorities are among those interests and responsibilities.

One thing is very clear. The capacity to handle these critical foreign policy challenges entirely on our own, even if it ever did exist, has vanished. We need dependable allies and actions concerted with others to handle every one of those challenges – from climate change, to free trade and financial stability, to instability in the Middle East, to nuclear proliferation. And the interdependence of today's world means that this is the worst possible moment to turn in on ourselves.

Ever since the Second World War, Britain has been at the forefront of efforts to create, and to strengthen international institutions such as the UN the International Monetary Fund and the World Trade Organisation, and to build islands of rules-based stability within an often pretty chaotic context. We surely need now to persevere with those efforts and above all to give a lead in providing the emerging countries of the developing world with a more prominent and influential role in global decision making. If that means some diminution in our own influence in those bodies, it could be a price worth paying. And we need too to give a new impetus to cooperation in the G20, whose early successes seem now to have given way to drift.

Reforming international organisations and making them more fit for purpose is often uphill, frustrating work but it needs to be done. Which is why I applaud the government's commitment to overseas aid and the Prime Minister's joint chairmanship of the UN panel set up to chart the way forward on the post-2015 Millennium Development Goals. Speculation about its waning power and influence are greatly exaggerated. When the European countries and the United States agree they can be an extraordinarily effective force for achieving our shared values and objectives; when we disagree or fall out we merely frustrate each other's aims. So we need a strong dialogue across the field of foreign policy; and we should seize the opportunity of freeing up trade and investment between the European Union and the US from the myriad of obstacles that still impede it.

Completion of the single market, further enlargement to stabilise the Balkans and to cement the relationship with Europe's most rapidly growing economy, Turkey, giving a lead to international action on climate change are all obvious parts of such an agenda. But it should go wider than that. The impact of austerity on all of our defence budgets should surely be concentrating our minds on the need for closer cooperation and for making more effective use of the European Defence Agency; and Britain and France are necessary leaders in any such enterprise.

That positive agenda is the only realistic framework for a successful effort to work for reform of the European Union, which vetoes, no-go areas and red lines will never be able to deliver. It is also the only realistic framework for sustaining Britain's world-wide influence, which doubts over the durability of our membership will only undermine. And the clout of the European Union in working for better access to those rapidly growing countries in Asia, Latin America and Africa is something we cannot afford to do without.

No doubt the biggest obstacles to achieving our foreign policy objectives in the coming years will arise from unexpected events, which no amount of careful advance planning can hope to anticipate. That is the case for a foreign policy which is pragmatic, flexible and adaptable and not one driven by too much ideology and too many prejudices.


On Georgia's incursion

The ambassador said the EU should keep talks on a broader bilateral treaty, the so-called "post-PCA," which includes stronger commitments on human rights, at the top of its agenda. "We don't want the Partnership for Modernisation to become a side-alley for making progress in EU-Russia relations only on subjects which are comfortable for Russia," he explained. He added that a visa-free promise for Russia should be accompanied by a similar offer to Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, Moldova and Ukraine.

The EU could extend the visa perspective to the group-of-six during informal remarks in the post-Rostov press conference or in the conclusions of the EU foreign ministers' gathering in June, he said. The Polish diplomat pointed out that EU visas are a political and security issue in post-Soviet Europe.

In the run-up to the 2008 Russia-Georgia war, Moscow handed out Russian passports to people in Georgia's breakaway Abkhazia and South Ossetia regions. The Russian passports were more attractive than Georgian travel documents because Russian passport-holders already pay less to enter the EU than Georgians. The process undermined Georgia's territorial integrity and gave Russia a pretext to invade South Ossetia to protect 'its citizens,' however. "The experience of 2008 shows that Russian passportisation policy uses access to the EU as a way of undermining certain countries," Mr Tombinski said.

at CEPS: Views from Tbilisi and Europe (video)

foreign policy development of the European Union / civil missions

On 12 April 2010 the Dutch European Movement and the Dutch Society of International Affairs organised a meeting with Pieter Feith about foreign policy development of the European Union, within civil missions plays an important role.

Foreign policy is strategy to safeguard interests and to achieve goals in international relations. The approaches are strategically employed to interact with other countries.

Pieter Feith about progress of EU foreign policy
In the recent time, due to the deepening level of globalization and transnational activities, it is also interaction with non-state actors to maximize benefits of multilateral international cooperation.

Foreign policies are designed through high-level decision making processes. Interests accomplishment can occur as a result of peaceful cooperation, or through exploitation.

How operates an EU mission in a profound divided region as the Balkans? What is the added value of European action, besides UN or local ones? What circumstances does a European foreign policy succeed? EU special representatives are appointed to promote EU policies and interests in troubled regions and play an active role in efforts to consolidate peace, stability and the rule of law. The representative support the work of the HR of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy (FASP) in the regions concerned. They play an important role in the development of a stronger and more effective EU FASP and in the EU's efforts to become a more active, more coherent and more capable actor on the world stage. They provide the EU with an active political presence in key countries and regions, acting as a voice and face for the EU and its policies.
The EU's SRs in office cover 12 regions.

Balkans, Caucasus, Africa are examples of foreign and security performance. Although not all member-states fully agree, there is cooperation between EU, NATO, UN and on bilateral and multilateral level due to further development of the situation on the Balkans. A part of the international community recognized Kosovo as an independent state, the majority did not (yet). To solve the problems, mainly two cooperative actors are on the stage (EU and US). The EU can offer membership. That possibility constrains to good governance and offers perspective for the future and the future generations.

Main goals are working on forgivingness and coping with the past. Also non-violence, no frozen conflicts and no segregation are items. It is not to be expected that Serbia will recognize Kosovo, but (more) cooperation is feasible. Important progress achieved since the independance is the strongly improved stability. The success in Kosovo goes faster than in Bosnia. Timing is important: the decision when self-government act and withdrawal of the international community takes place.


  Parag Khanna
click for Parag Khanna's website

Influential scientist and publicist, advisor of Barack Obama during the elections, proclaimed as 'Young Global Leader 2009' by World Economic Forum and also author of the book 'The Second World: Empires and influence in the new global order' (2008), in which he explains how the hegemony position of America make place for a kind of geopolitical marketplace, in which the US, China and the EU compete with each other about influence in the world, lectured 4-2-2010 on world politics and the role in that for the weight of the EU.

Direction of the world with an absolutely construction the EU, from Latin America till the China periferie. (Multi-) diplomacy will become of solid importance and 3 styles are to be recognized: coalition style, consensus style and consultancy style. Another important item is expanding the EU. Thinking of Turkey (between Balkans and Caucasus), not expanding is not wise. Now there is momentum.

Furthermore relationships with China, Central Asia (where in fact the West officially lost the new "Great Game' about the 20-year competition for natural resources and influence), solutions for AFPAK and the Middle East, attention for the African Union, economic and financial access urges for common European foreign policy. And finally Iran as exercise for Europe's foreign politics.

Parag Khanna is an Indian American author and international relations expert. He currently serves as the Director of the Global Governance Initiative of the American Strategy Program at the New America Foundation, a think tank based in Washington, D.C. His first book is entitled The Second World: Empires and Influence in the New Global Order, and was published by Random House in March 2008. He attended the Edmund A. Walsh School of Foreign Service at Georgetown University and Freie Universität Berlin, majoring in international affairs and then earning a Master of Arts in Security Studies. He is currently working on his PhD in international relations at the London School of Economics.

He has worked as an analyst for the Council on Foreign Relations, the World Economic Forum and the Brookings Institution. In 2007, he was a geopolitical advisor to the United States Special Operations Forces in Iraq and Afghanistan. More recently, Khanna has provided expert advice and opinion to the Presidential campaign of Barack Obama, and is a member of the Board of Independent Diplomat.

Khanna has contributed to numerous television programs and newspapers. His article, "Waving Goodbye to Hegemony", was the cover story on the New York Times Magazine on January 27, 2008. He coined the term "geopolitical marketplace" to refer to the dynamic where the "first world" superpowers (US, EU and China) compete for the influence of the "second world."

By "second world," Khanna refers to those pivotal regions in the Middle East, Latin America, Central and South Asia, East Asia, and Eastern Europe. Countries in the second world, like Azerbaijan, Uzbekistan, Colombia, Brazil, India, Russia, Libya, Vietnam and Malaysia, simultaneously have both first world and third world characteristics. They engage in multi-alignment vis-a-vis the US, EU, and China.