EU foreign and security policy

Dive into the enlightening world of the EU foreign and security policy, a critical cornerstone of Europe's international standing. In this comprehensive guide, you'll gain a deep understanding of the role of the EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and discover the distinct features that shape the EU's Common Foreign and Security Policy. Explore how significant events, such as the refugee crisis, have influenced this policy, and delve into the EU Global Strategy for Foreign and Security Policy 2016. Historical evolution, contemporary challenges, and future projections of the EU foreign and security policy will also be critically examined, offering you a thorough exploration of this complex subject matter.

EU foreign and security policy EU foreign and security policy

Create learning materials about EU foreign and security policy with our free learning app!

  • Instand access to millions of learning materials
  • Flashcards, notes, mock-exams and more
  • Everything you need to ace your exams
Create a free account
Contents
Table of contents

    Understanding the EU Foreign and Security Policy

    The European Union, being a significant player in global politics, has a well-defined foreign and security policy. This policy is a collective effort by member countries to respond effectively to conflicts and crisis, build strong partnerships with other countries, and promote democracy worldwide.

    The EU Foreign and Security Policy: This is the combined strategy adopted by EU member states to handle their external relations, specifically aiming to prevent conflicts, strengthen international security, promote international cooperation, develop and consolidate democracy, rule of law, and the respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms.

    Though it may seem like a unified body, the EU's foreign and security policy must be agreed upon by all member states, making it a complex and often challenging undertaking. Unlike domestic policy, which can be decided by simple majority, foreign and security policy requires unanimous agreement among all members.

    Role of the EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy

    The EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy plays a pivotal role in shaping and implementing the EU's foreign policy. This individual, effectively the EU's diplomat-in-chief,

    EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy: The individual who represents the European Union in the areas of common foreign and security policy while presiding over the Foreign Affairs Council and the Policy and Security Committee, and being a Vice President of the European Commission.

    Distinct Features of the EU Common Foreign and Security Policy

    The EU's Common Foreign and Security Policy (CFSP) is distinctive and unique in many ways.

    • The CFSP is driven by consensus of the member states, with the High Representative facilitating this consensus.
    • The policy aims at peacekeeping, conflict prevention and in strengthening international security
    • The CFSP focuses on both military and civilian aspects of crisis management.

    An example of the EU's CFSP in action can be seen in their response to the Russia-Ukraine conflict. The EU issued sanctions against Russia and provided political and financial support to Ukraine, demonstrating its ability to act collectively on matters of foreign and security policy.

    Influence of the Refugee Crisis on EU Foreign and Security Policy

    The refugee crisis indeed has exerted substantial influence on EU foreign and security policy, resulting in changes and adjustments to accommodate the new reality.

    The EU's Response to the Refugee Crisis

    In response to the refugee crisis, the EU took several steps geared towards dealing effectively with the situation.

    Refugee Crisis: This typically refers to the mass exodus of refugees during wartime or periods of significant instability. The term was commonly used to describe the influx of refugees into the EU during the Syrian Civil War.

    These steps included:

    • The establishment of the European Agenda on Migration
    • The introduction of the refugee quota system
    • Intensified cooperation with third countries like Turkey

    An illustration of these measures in action is the EU-Turkey deal of March 2016, where the EU agreed to provide financial aid to Turkey in exchange for the return of irregular migrants who crossed into Greece from Turkey.

    Delving into the EU Global Strategy for Foreign and Security Policy 2016

    The 2016 EU Global Strategy on Foreign and Security Policy (EUGS) is an important milestone in EU's diplomatic history - a comprehensive document outlining the EU's vision and direction for the future. Shared responsibilities and mutual assistance are enshrined principles in this policy document, reinforcing the EU's commitment to unity and multilateralism.

    EU Global Strategy: A foreign and security policy initiative of the EU, enacted in 2016, that outlines the EU's view of its place in the world and its strategies for dealing with global challenges.

    Main Aspects of the EU Global Strategy 2016

    The EU Global Strategy 2016 extends beyond matters of security and defence, encapsulating diverse aspects, including promotion of democracy, human rights, rule of law, gender equality and sustainable development.

    Some key aspects of the EU Global Strategy include:

    • Strengthening security and defence
    • Consolidating the European security order
    • Enhancing resilience of neighbouring states
    • Reinforcing multilateral systems
    • Increasing global governance

    One palpable instance of the strategy's influence was during the EU's response to the Brexit vote. Instead of weakening European unity, the exit of the United Kingdom became a driver for further integration in the area of common security and defence policy, leading to initiatives such as Permanent Structured Cooperation (PESCO) in defence, launched by the member states in December 2017.

    Evaluation of the Strategy's Implementation

    Evaluating the effectiveness and implementation of the EU Global Strategy involves a complex assessment of its impact across various areas. The following table presents a concise summary of the significant metrics:

    Metric Effectiveness Remarks
    Level of member state participation High Initiatives such as PESCO in defence have seen broad participation from member states.
    Impact on defence capabilities Medium Though some strides have been achieved in aligning defence capabilities, much work remains to be done.
    Influence on international governance Variable While the EU has been influential in certain arenas, its influence in others, such as cybersecurity, flagrantly needs bolstering.
    Effectiveness in promoting multilateralism High The strategy's emphasis on multilateralism has widely been seen as successful, given the EU's leading role in promoting the Paris Agreement on climate change and the Iran nuclear deal, among others.

    Launched in 2017, the Permanent Structured Cooperation (PESCO) is a crucial testament to the EU’s commitment to advance in defence integration. It provides collaborative ventures of varying sizes and ambition levels, spanning from strategic enablers to specific military capabilities.

    Historical Evolution of EU Common Foreign and Security Policy

    The formation and evolution of the EU Foreign and Security Policy is a captivating story that stretches over several decades. Beginning in the post-World War II period with the establishment of the European Economic Community (EEC), the policy has dramatically evolved alongside the changing global landscape, marked by seminal events reshaping its direction and purview.

    Seminal Events in the Development of EU Common Foreign and Security Policy

    From the Treaty of Rome in 1957, which initiated the humble beginnings of a common policy in foreign trade, to the introduction of the Common Foreign and Security Policy (CFSP) via the Maastricht Treaty in 1992, a series of seminal events have systematically progressed the EU's position on foreign and security policy.

    • The Single European Act in 1987 was significant for extending community competence into the foreign policy realm.
    • The end of the Cold War presented both opportunities and challenges prompting the EU to reconsider its role on the global stage.
    • The Maastricht Treaty officially marked the conception of the CFSP, pointing to a growing realisation for increased cooperation between member states in the areas of foreign and defence policy.
    • The Bosnian War was a key stimulus for enhancing action and coordination of foreign policy among EU member states.

    Instances of cohesive action include the shared responsibility and resulting intervention in the Balkans during the Bosnian War. Lacking a coordinated response initially, this war turned out to be a stark reminder of the need for a unified foreign and security policy, leading to significant reforms and creation of the High Representative for CFSP role.

    Bosnian War: A bloody, ethnically rooted war fought in Bosnia and Herzegovina between 1992 and 1995. The war stood as a significant factor leading to important reforms in EU's foreign and security policy.

    The Lisbon Treaty's Impact on the EU Foreign Policy

    One of the most drastic shifts in the EU's Common Foreign and Security Policy (CFSP) was the enforcement of the Lisbon Treaty in 2009. The treaty had profound implications, markedly enhancing the coherence and effectiveness of EU foreign policy.

    • The Lisbon Treaty established the High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, augmenting the visibility and continuity of the EU foreign policy.
    • It introduced a diplomatic service for the EU, known as the European External Action Service (EEAS).
    • The treaty broadened the scope of the EU's CFSP to areas such as energy security and climate change, reflecting a modern understanding of security threats.

    Lisbon Treaty: An international agreement that amends the two treaties forming the constitutional basis of the European Union (EU). It was signed on 13 December 2007 and came into force on 1 December 2009, enhancing the coherence and effectiveness of EU's Common Foreign and Security Policy.

    Contemporary Challenges to EU Foreign and Security Policy

    Trends in global political landscape such as the rise of populism, regional conflicts and the diversification of threats pose significant challenges to the effectiveness and scope of EU's foreign and security policy.

    • Managing relations with Russia and handling the ongoing conflicts in the Middle East.
    • Addressing emerging security threats such as cyberwarfare and terrorism.
    • Dealing with the impacts of the USA's shifting alliances under its "America First" policy.
    • The Refugee Crisis, highlighting the need for a coordinated migration and asylum policy.

    Future Projections for EU Foreign and Security Policy

    The future trajectory of EU foreign and security policy is undoubtedly going to be influenced by both internal and external factors. As the Union continues to grapple with generating consensus among its diverse member states, it is also faced with an unpredictable global landscape marked by new security threats and shifting alliances.

    • The Union's ambition of being a true global player and having strategic autonomy.
    • Reinforcement of defence cooperation via initiatives like Permanent Structured Cooperation (PESCO).
    • Deepening of political integration and coherence in the wake of the Brexit.
    • Navigating the complexities of emerging security challenges like cyber attacks, and strengthening resilience towards hybrid threats.

    EU foreign and security policy - Key takeaways

    • EU Foreign and Security Policy: A combined strategy by EU member states aimed at preventing conflicts and strengthening international security.
    • EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy: The person responsible for representing the EU in all areas related to foreign and security policy, also presides over the Foreign Affairs Council and the Policy and Security Committee.
    • EU Common Foreign and Security Policy (CFSP): Distinctive collective policy focused on peacekeeping, conflict prevention, and military and civilian aspects of crisis management. This policy requires unanimous agreement among all EU member states.
    • Refugee Crisis Affecting EU Foreign and Security Policy: The refugee crisis has significantly affected the EU's foreign and security policy, prompting measures such as the establishment of the European Agenda on Migration, introduction of the refugee quota system, and increased cooperation with third countries.
    • EU Global Strategy for Foreign and Security Policy 2016: A policy initiative that outlines the EU's global strategy covering multiple areas including security, defence, democracy, human rights, and rule of law. Key aspects include strengthening security and defence, enhancing resilience of neighbouring states, and promoting multilateralism.
    • History of EU Common Foreign and Security Policy: Initiated with the Treaty of Rome in 1957 and progressing over time with significant events like the Single European Act in 1987, Maastricht Treaty in 1992, and the Lisbon Treaty in 2009 which had significant impact on the coherence and effectiveness of the EU's foreign policy.
    • Lisbon Treaty: Came into force on 1 December 2009, and transformed EU's foreign policy by sectors such as establishing the High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy and introducing a diplomatic service for the EU, the European External Action Service (EEAS).
    EU foreign and security policy EU foreign and security policy
    Learn with 48 EU foreign and security policy flashcards in the free StudySmarter app

    We have 14,000 flashcards about Dynamic Landscapes.

    Sign up with Email

    Already have an account? Log in

    Frequently Asked Questions about EU foreign and security policy
    What is the primary objective of the EU foreign and security policy?
    The primary objective of the EU foreign and security policy is to safeguard the EU’s common values, fundamental interests, security, independence, and integrity, while promoting international cooperation and maintaining stability in Europe.
    How does the EU foreign and security policy influence relations with non-EU countries?
    The EU foreign and security policy significantly influences relations with non-EU countries by shaping diplomatic ties, managing trade relations, promoting human rights and democracy, and addressing global challenges like climate change and terrorism. This policy framework determines how the EU interacts and cooperates with external countries.
    Who are the key actors in shaping the EU foreign and security policy?
    The key actors in shaping the EU foreign and security policy are the European Commission, the European Council, the High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, and the member states of the EU.
    What mechanisms does the EU use to implement its foreign and security policy?
    The EU implements its foreign and security policy through the Common Foreign and Security Policy (CFSP), using diplomatic efforts, sanctions, military and civilian missions and operations. It also utilises strategic communication and international agreements to uphold its policies.
    How is the EU foreign and security policy connected to the lawmaking process in the EU?
    EU foreign and security policy influences the lawmaking process in the EU by forming the basis of legislative proposals. EU institutions such as the European Commission or European Council propose legislation in areas governed by this policy, which is then agreed upon and enacted by the European Parliament and Council of the EU.

    Test your knowledge with multiple choice flashcards

    What is meant by operational crisis management in the context of European Law?

    What are the key components involved in defining crisis management operations?

    What steps are required to ensure an effective crisis management plan?

    Next
    1
    About StudySmarter

    StudySmarter is a globally recognized educational technology company, offering a holistic learning platform designed for students of all ages and educational levels. Our platform provides learning support for a wide range of subjects, including STEM, Social Sciences, and Languages and also helps students to successfully master various tests and exams worldwide, such as GCSE, A Level, SAT, ACT, Abitur, and more. We offer an extensive library of learning materials, including interactive flashcards, comprehensive textbook solutions, and detailed explanations. The cutting-edge technology and tools we provide help students create their own learning materials. StudySmarter’s content is not only expert-verified but also regularly updated to ensure accuracy and relevance.

    Learn more
    StudySmarter Editorial Team

    Team EU foreign and security policy Teachers

    • 11 minutes reading time
    • Checked by StudySmarter Editorial Team
    Save Explanation

    Study anywhere. Anytime.Across all devices.

    Sign-up for free

    Sign up to highlight and take notes. It’s 100% free.

    Join over 22 million students in learning with our StudySmarter App

    The first learning app that truly has everything you need to ace your exams in one place

    • Flashcards & Quizzes
    • AI Study Assistant
    • Study Planner
    • Mock-Exams
    • Smart Note-Taking
    Join over 22 million students in learning with our StudySmarter App