Next Steps for EU Foreign Policy

The Carnegie Foundation Europe’s operation asks people to give a short answer to key policy questions. Below is mine published today on the impact of the European Parliament elections in EU foreign policy

 

Can a European Foreign Policy emerge from the next period of European governance 2014-2019. The European Parliament elections with their headlines on populist anti-EU parties mainly, but not exclusively from rightwing anti-immigrant extreme politics, suggests not. There are demands for Europe to be stronger, tougher, clearer. But bit by bit Europeans are learning to do foreign policy. What is remarkable is not the presence of a single united EU policy line but the absence or decline of national posturing or declamatory statements playing to the gallery of domestic prejudice. Nudged by the quietly effective EEAS, Europe has found more common positions on international policy than at any time in its history. The hard power vs soft power debate is over. Both are needed. The knee-jerk promotion of the right to intervene of the 1990s has been nuanced. Finding a person to express this is a challenge. Anyone who goes way beyond what London, Paris, Berlin and other EU capitals can accept will be dead in the water. The trick is to express what EU capitals need to do in a way they can accept. Is such a candidate available to succeed Cathy Ashton? Watch this space.

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