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  • Author: Albert Bressan
  • Publication Date: 01-2011
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Institution: Chatham House
  • Abstract: The entry into force of the Lisbon Treaty invites and enables Europe to develop elements of a common foreign policy. Europe should resist the tendency of listing all issues calling for attention, and be aware that it will have to address three agendas, not just one. The first agenda is the Kantian one of universal causes. While it remains essential to European identity, it presents Europe with limited opportunities for success in the 2010s as could be seen at the 2009 Climate Summit in Copenhagen. The 'Alliance' agenda remains essential on the security front and would benefit from a transatlantic effort at rejuvenation on the economic one. Last but not least, the 'Machiavellian' agenda reflects what most countries would define as their 'normal' foreign policy. It calls for Europe to influence key aspects of the world order in the absence of universal causes or common values. While Europe's 'Machiavellian' experience is limited to trade policy, developing a capacity to address this third agenda in a manner that places its common interests first and reinforces its identity will be Europe's central foreign policy challenge in the 2010s. A key part of the Machiavellian agenda presently revolves around relations with Ukraine, Turkey and the Russian Federation, three countries essential to Europe's energy security that are unlikely to change their foreign policy stance faced with EU soft power. Stressing that foreign policy is about 'us' and 'them', the article looks at what could be a genuine European foreign policy vis-à-vis each of these interdependent countries, beginning with energy and a more self-interested approach to enlargement. The European public space is political in nature, as majority voting and mutual recognition imply that citizens accept 'foreigners' as legitimate legislators. At a time when the European integration process has become more hesitant and the political dimension of European integration tends to be derided or assumed away, admitting Turkey or Ukraine as members would change Europe more than it would change these countries. Foreign policy cannot be reduced to making Europe itself the prize of the relationship. What objectives Europe sets for itself in its dealing with Ukraine, Turkey and Russia will test whether it is ready for a fully-fledged foreign policy or whether the invocation of 'Europe' is merely a convenient instrument for entities other than 'Europe'.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy
  • Political Geography: Europe, Turkey, Ukraine