EU Foreign Policy

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    • 00:00

      [MUSIC PLAYING]

    • 00:10

      DR. MAXINE DAVID: Hello, I'm Dr. Maxine David,a lecturer in politics.I research foreign policy, focusing particularlyon Russian, EU, and British foreign policies.I'm especially interested in the actors in inform policyand how they both influence and areinfluenced by the structures within which they work.Today, I will be presenting a tutorial on the foreign policy

    • 00:33

      DR. MAXINE DAVID [continued]: of the European Union in order to understandwho the foreign policy actors in the EUR and the environmentin which they work.At the same time, we will think about the EU's identityand how this is represented in the interactions with others.In the final section, we will considerwhat Russia can tell us about EU foreign policy.

    • 00:55

      DR. MAXINE DAVID [continued]: Before we go too far in, it's worthacknowledging that you will have to acquirea good deal of knowledge about the EUin order to be able to analyze any of its policies.Stick with what might seem like a rather dull exercisein terms of figuring out who everyone is, what they do,how they relate to each other, and how they came to be.

    • 01:16

      DR. MAXINE DAVID [continued]: Once you have the facts of the EU behind you,conducting an analysis of it becomes much easierand more interesting.If you want to understand some of the challenges,even problems, that we see in EU foreign policy,

    • 01:36

      DR. MAXINE DAVID [continued]: identifying the range of actors gives us some clues.Let's start with the member states.It's important to remember that the EU is made upof 28 member states.Each is a foreign policy actor in its own right.Member states charged with ensuring their foreign policyis consistent with the EU's founding principles, democracy,

    • 01:58

      DR. MAXINE DAVID [continued]: rule of law, human rights, and fundamental freedoms.Member states meet at the levels of heads of statesand/or government within the European Council.Next is the Counsil of the EU.And it's here that the foreign ministers of member statesmeet.They are assisted, in turn, by the EU High

    • 02:18

      DR. MAXINE DAVID [continued]: Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy.She presides over the European External ActionService, the EEAS.The European Commission and the European Parliamentare relevant but are not foreign policy actors, persay.Although the EP is interesting since ithas often acted as the conscience of the EU.

    • 02:39

      DR. MAXINE DAVID [continued]: In relations with Russia, for instance,it has been most often the EP thathas commented on Russia's human rightsabuses, while others in Brussels have focusedon the day-to-day conduct of relations and deepeningcooperation.Between them, the Council, the High Representative,and the Commission are responsible for the unity,consistency, and effectiveness of EU foreign policy.

    • 03:03

      DR. MAXINE DAVID [continued]: But when thinking about just these main actors,perhaps you are already saying whysome of the EU's statements about its foreign policyare met with skepticism.Consider, for instance, its statementthat, "EU foreign and security policy, whichis developed gradually over many years,enables the EU to speak and act as one in world affairs."

    • 03:25

      DR. MAXINE DAVID [continued]: This is a highly-contestable statement.Much less debatable is the claim that, "Acting togethergives the EU's 28 members far greatercloud than they would have if each pursued its own policies.However, the EU is not immune from the factthat we do not always do what is good for us.

    • 03:45

      DR. MAXINE DAVID [continued]: These actors obviously requires support structures to deliveron their responsibilities.The European Council delivers the direction and strategyof EU foreign policy.As well as the member states, it includes the presidentsof the European Council and the Commission

    • 04:08

      DR. MAXINE DAVID [continued]: and the High Representative, all in placeto help the EU move closer to that goal of coherence.In turn, the Council of the EU defines and implementsEU foreign policy.It is assisted by one of the creations of the 2009 LisbonTreaty, the high representative.In her turn, she chose the Foreign Affairs Counsel,

    • 04:29

      DR. MAXINE DAVID [continued]: assisted by the EEAS.This was also created by Lisbon and peopled by EUand national civil servants.It is responsible for the runningof the 140 or so delegations and offices around the world.It is a key body for ensuring thereare links between the EU and the EU member states,

    • 04:50

      DR. MAXINE DAVID [continued]: and therefore key to ensuring their are suffieient coherenceand unity in EU foreign policy.Other structures worth our attentionare the ambassadorial level Political and SecurityCommittee, PSC or COPS, plus the various delegationsand working groups.The Lisbon Treaty's reference to the Union's responsibility

    • 05:10

      DR. MAXINE DAVID [continued]: for identifying questions of general interestand an ever-increasing degree of convergence of member states'actions suggest there is some wayto go before these are achieved.The structures outlined above are designedto assist in this task.It is for us, for you, to decide on their effectiveness.

    • 05:31

      DR. MAXINE DAVID [continued]: When analyzing any actor's foreign policy,you need to think about what kind of actoryou're dealing with.What is the domestic environment like?A democracy?If so, what type?A dictatorship?More or less authoritarian?Who makes decisions?What role, if any, is there for public opinion or the media?

    • 05:59

      DR. MAXINE DAVID [continued]: Most importantly, think about the actor's identity.Identity is significant for determiningthe nature of foreign policy orientation and oftenits behavior.In the EU case, there are various ways in which wecan think about its identity.We can say it is reflecting multiple identities rather thana single identity by reason of those 28 members.

    • 06:22

      DR. MAXINE DAVID [continued]: At an EU level, perhaps the most seminal ideaaround which debates has revolvedis Ian Manners' conceptualizationof the EU as a normative power.Manners and others who have follows in his footstepshave directed us to consider also whether the EU reallyis a soft power.Think Joseph Nye here.Will the values or interest drive

    • 06:43

      DR. MAXINE DAVID [continued]: its foreign and other policies?It makes us think about whether the EU is as benignan actor as it says it is, especially relevant, givenGreece's recent economic problems and Ukraine'sconflict.Does the EU operate on the basis of double standards?Does it demand of others somethingthat it does not really adhere to itself?

    • 07:05

      DR. MAXINE DAVID [continued]: Interesting literature here includesScheipers and Sicurelli's 2007 article on the EUas a credible utopia and Howorth's and Schmidt'sseparate works on being and doing in the EU.A major challenge to the idea of normative power Europehas also been changes to the EU security and defense policy.

    • 07:26

      DR. MAXINE DAVID [continued]: With questions being asked by Karen Smith, for example,about whether the development of the EU's military powerrenders redundant any idea of Europe as a civilian power.A more recent 2012 idea is Chad Damro's conceptualizationof the EU as market power Europe.

    • 07:46

      DR. MAXINE DAVID [continued]: This contribution to the debates on EU identityis particularly useful for considerationsabout what constitutes the basis for identity in the EU context.Is economic power a sufficient basis?Finally, the EU as Europe.If Europe is the EU, where does that

    • 08:08

      DR. MAXINE DAVID [continued]: leave those within Europe but not in the EU?This has been a major sticking point in Russia's claimsto be European.In addition, focusing on this meanswe understand there is insufficient clarityabout what it is to be European and what the EU is.Where does it end and who is not included?

    • 08:29

      DR. MAXINE DAVID [continued]: Moving into more concrete areas for analysis,we need to think about the grounds on which the EU hasdeveloped relationships with the many external actorswith whom it interacts.The EU's self-express foreign policy agendais to, "perserve peace and strengthen

    • 08:51

      DR. MAXINE DAVID [continued]: international security, promote international cooperation,develop and consolidate democracy, the rule of law,and respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms.Methods for achieving these goalsinclude, first of all, diplomacy.Noticeable here is the EU involvementin peace talks with Iran.But in the longer term, there has been its development

    • 09:14

      DR. MAXINE DAVID [continued]: assistance, and the African continentis of interest here, as well as its numerous tradingrelationships.A second method of the partnerships.It holds-- or in the case of Russia,has held-- regular summits with Canada, China, India, Japan,Russia, and the USA.

    • 09:34

      DR. MAXINE DAVID [continued]: Additionally, we have EU peacekeeping activities.For instance, Eulex Kosovo and the monitoringmission in Georgia.Next, there are its goods neighborly relations.A key arrangement here is the European neighborhood policyand the Eastern Partnership that emerged from it.Finally, there is the enlargement agenda.

    • 09:55

      DR. MAXINE DAVID [continued]: With the recent events of the Greek economic crisisin Ukraine, for instance, suggeststhis may be on hold for a while.These are just some of the basicsthat you need to know and understandbefore we can get to the empirical analysis of any of weEU's relationships with other actors.

    • 10:18

      DR. MAXINE DAVID [continued]: So what does Russia tell us about EU foreign policy?In 2007, the then Trade Commission, Peter Mandelson,said, "no other country reveals our differencesas does Russia."The reason for this is not just a reflection of Russian agency.As we've seen, there are inbuilt structural obstacles

    • 10:39

      DR. MAXINE DAVID [continued]: to unity in the EU.The 28 member states have differinggeographies, historical experience and alliances,resources, threat perceptions and, as per applicationof the insights of the Europeanization literature,different levels of socialization within the EU.Add to to this the number of actors in Brussels.

    • 11:01

      DR. MAXINE DAVID [continued]: These various activities have to be brought together in orderto bring the coherence and unity the EU wants for its firmpolicy.Russia has simply understood these weaknesses.Its perception is that the EU be divided,and it has tools in its arsenal to assist in this.One tool is the EU member states themselves.

    • 11:22

      DR. MAXINE DAVID [continued]: Remember that when we talked about about the actorsat the outset, we identified the 28 member states as actorsin their own right, as my own work with fellow coordinatorsand editors Jackie Gower and Hiski Haukkala have shown.Each of the 28 member states has their own bilateralrelationship with Russia.These reflect similarities, but also significant differences.

    • 11:46

      DR. MAXINE DAVID [continued]: Most have long, historical relationshipswith Russia, some antagonistic.They have differening levels of reliance on Russian energy,and there is a variance in terms of economic exposure,important variables for understandingthe leverage either actor has in the relationship.They also often have different threat perceptions.

    • 12:08

      DR. MAXINE DAVID [continued]: Often, they're not always relatedto geographical proximity to Russia, which in turn meansthey have competing priorities and strategies in termsof dealing with Russia, including within the Brusselscontext.Other tools at Russia's disposal arereflective of EU-Russia differences.

    • 12:28

      DR. MAXINE DAVID [continued]: Events in Ukraine since late 2013have shown that the EU and Russiahave competing ideas about what constitutes soverenty.Ukraine's troubles stem in part from the choiceit has had to make between associating moredeeply with the EU or orientation back towards Russiaand joining the Russian-driven project of the Eurasian

    • 12:49

      DR. MAXINE DAVID [continued]: Economic Union, which is consciouslybuilt on the European Model.Even before Ukraine, however, the EU and Russiarepresented two quite different ideasof what it meant to be European.This returns us to the idea of the EU as Europeand the manner in which it relegatesthose on the outside to be something other than European.

    • 13:12

      DR. MAXINE DAVID [continued]: For Russia, the EU's various enlargementseastwards have constituted a challenge, not only to an areathat Russia considers to be its sphere of influence.It's Russia's own claims to be European.While the differences between the EU and Russiahave been the major focus of attentionfor a number of years now, we mustremember that are areas on which they converge.

    • 13:35

      DR. MAXINE DAVID [continued]: These are most salient in relationto threat-- terrorism, trafficking,nuclear proliferation to name but a few.But shared threats are an indicationof shared objectives, of course.In addition, the EU member states and Russiahave an interdependent relationshipin respect of trade and energy.These are positive aspects of the relationship that cannot be

    • 13:58

      DR. MAXINE DAVID [continued]: underestimated when we're thinking about the likelyfuture direction of these actor's relations with eachother.In conclusion, in order to analyze EU foreign policy,we first need to know who and what we are talking about.

    • 14:18

      DR. MAXINE DAVID [continued]: Who are the actor?What are the structures within which they operate?What are their objectives?What do they represent and project externally?By looking at any of the EU's relationships,however, we are likely to see that unity and coherence remaina problem and that external perceptions of the EUmay not coincide with what the EU says it is.

    • 14:41

      DR. MAXINE DAVID [continued]: It may not necessarily be seen and greated as a benign force.Finally, here are some questions thatare worth considering further.Have the structures put in place by Lisbonproved adequate for the task?How important is the European identity to our understandingof EU foreign policy?

    • 15:02

      DR. MAXINE DAVID [continued]: Does the EU sufficiently understandhow external actors perceive it, and does it matter?And perhaps most importantly, do the separate nationalidentities and interests of the member statesconstitute an insurmountable obstacle for coherenceof EU foreign policy?[MUSIC PLAYING]

EU Foreign Policy

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Abstract

Professor Maxine David outlines EU foreign policy. She explains why the individual identities and agendas of dozens of member states complicate every step of the policy process.

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EU Foreign Policy

Professor Maxine David outlines EU foreign policy. She explains why the individual identities and agendas of dozens of member states complicate every step of the policy process.

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