Contemporary European Foreign Policy


Edited by: Walter Carlsnaes, Helene Sjursen & Brian White

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    List of Contributors

    Bertrand Badie is Professor at the Institut d'Etudes Politiques in Paris. He is the author of several books, articles and chapters on international relations, comparative political science and on Islam, including The Imported State: The Westernization of the Political Order (2000); and La Diplomatie des Droits de L'Homme (2002).

    Alasdair Blair is Jean Monnet Reader in International Relations at Coventry University. His publications include Saving the Pound? Britain's Road to Monetary Union (2002) and (with Anthony Forster) The Making of Britain's European Foreign Policy (2002). He is currently completing a book titled The European Union since 1945, to be published as part of the Longman Seminar Studies Series in History.

    Walter Carlsnaes is Professor of Government at Uppsala University, as well as Adjunct Professor at the Norwegian Institute of International Affairs. He has published six books, including three co-edited volumes, the most recent of which is the Handbook of International Relations (2002). He was also the founding editor of the European Journal of International Relations. His research interests are in foreign policy analysis, IR theory and the philosophy of social science, EU external relations, and Swedish foreign and security policy.

    Frédéric Charillon is Professor of International Relations at the Institut d'Etudes Politiques de Paris and at the University of Clermont I. He is the head of the foreign policy section of the French Political Studies Association, and currently also a researcher at CERSA (Research Centre for Administrative Science – Paris II – Assas). He has published several books and articles on foreign policy, including Politique Etrangère: Nouveaux Regards (2002).

    George Christou is a Research Associate working on an ESRC funded project on European Regulation of Internet Commerce, co-ordinated at the Department of Information and Communications, Manchester Metropolitan University. His research interests include the European Union and conflict resolution/prevention, European Union external relations as governance, European Union regulation of e-commerce and the internet. He is currently completing a monograph on the European Union and Enlargement: The Case of Cyprus, to be published by Palgrave in 2004.

    Magnus Ekengren is Senior Lecturer at the Swedish National Defence College and was previously with the Policy Planning Unit of the Swedish Ministry for Foreign Affairs. His main research interests are in the fields of European foreign and security policy and the Europeanisation of the nation-state. Recent publications include The Time of European Governance (2002).

    Ricardo Gomez is a Lecturer in European Policy Studies in the School for Policy Studies at the University of Bristol. He has previously published work on EU foreign policy and is currently researching UK devolution and European Union policy making.

    Annika S. Hansen is currently the acting Chief Political Adviser to the European Union Police Mission in Bosnia and Herzegovina (EUPM). She is on leave from her position as Senior Scientist at the Norwegian Defence Research Establishment (FFI), where she works on peacekeeping issues, including public security and military-police co-operation in peace operations. A former Fulbright scholar and Research Associate at the International Institute for Strategic Studies (IISS), she is the author of the Adelphi Paper From Congo to Kosovo: Civilian Police in Peace Operations, as well as numerous other publications.

    Brian Hocking is Professor of International Relations at Coventry University. He has taught and held visiting fellowships at universities in Australia, the USA and Europe. In terms of research interests, he is particularly concerned with the interaction between domestic and international forces in the conduct of foreign and foreign economic policy and the impact of globalisation on the nature and organisation of diplomacy. Publications include: Localizing Foreign Policy: Non-Central Governments and Multilayered Diplomacy (1993); Beyond Foreign Economic Policy: the United States and the Single European Market (with M.H. Smith, 1997); Foreign Ministries: Change and Adaptation (contributor and editor, 1999); Trade Politics: Domestic, International and Regional Perspectives (co-editor, with S.M. McGuire, 1999); and Foreign Ministries in the European Union: Integrating Diplomats (co-editor, with D. Spence, 2002).

    Knud Erik Jørgensen is Associate Professor in the Department of Political Science at the University of Aarhus. He has published widely on issues related to European foreign policy and is currently preparing a book on the topic.

    Janne Haaland Matlary is Professor of International Politics at the University of Oslo. Her most recent publication is Intervention for Human Rights (2002), while her current research is on norms of intervention and the empirical power of norms in foreign policy. Her major research fields are EU/European foreign policy and international security policy. During 1997–2000 she was Norwegian Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs.

    Agustín José Menéndez is Ramón y Cajal Researcher at the Universidad de León (Spain) and CIDEL fellow at ARENA, University of Oslo. He has published a monograph on tax justice (Justifying Taxes, 2001) and co-edited two volumes on European constitutional law, together with Erik O. Eriksen and John E. Fossum (The Chartering of Europe, 2003 and Developing a Constitution for Europe, 2004).

    Michelle Pace is a Research Fellow on an EU funded Fifth Framework programme project called the ‘European Union and Border Conflicts: The Impact of Integration and Association’ co-ordinated at the Department of Political Science and International Studies (POLSIS), University of Birmingham. She is also a Research Associate at the Europe in the World Centre, University of Liverpool, and book reviews editor for the journal Mediterranean Politics. Her monograph on The Politics of Regional Identity: Meddling with the Mediterranean will be published in 2004. Her research interests include the European Union and border conflicts, the politics of identity in the Euro-Mediterranean area, discourse analysis, European-Mediterranean relations and the Euro-Mediterranean Partnership.

    Ulrich Sedelmeier is an Assistant Professor of International Relations and European Studies at the Central European University in Budapest. His work has been published in the Journal of Common Market Studies, Journal of European Public Policy, Politique Européenne, West European Politics, and in edited volumes. He is co-editor (with Frank Schimmelfennig) of a special issue of the Journal of European Public Policy (‘European Union Enlargement: Theoretical and Comparative Approaches’, Vol. 9, No. 4, August 2002).

    Helene Sjursen is a Senior Researcher at ARENA at the University of Oslo. Recent publications include The United States, Western Europe and the Policy Crisis: International Relations in the Second Cold War (2003); ‘Why Expand? The Question of Legitimacy and Justification in the EU's Enlargement Policy’, in the Journal of Common Market Studies (3, 2002); and (co-edited with John Peterson) A Common Foreign Policy for Europe? Competing Visions of the CFSP (1998).

    Michael Smith is Professor of European Politics and Jean Monnet Chair in the Department of Politics, International Relations and European Studies at Loughborough University. His principal areas of research are transatlantic relations, relations between the EU, the US and Japan, the making of EU external policies and the role of the EU in post-Cold War Europe, as well as more general issues of international political economy. Among his books are The United States and the European Community in a Transformed World (1993, with Stephen Woolcock); Beyond Foreign Economic Policy: the United States, the Single European Market and the Changing World Economy (1997, with Brian Hocking); Europe's Experimental Union: Rethinking Integration (2000, with Brigid Laffan and Rory O'Donnell); The State of the European Union, Volume 5:Risks, Reforms, Resistance and Revival (2000, edited with Maria Green Cowles); and Foreign Policy in a Transformed World (2002, with Mark Webber).

    Bengt Sundelius is Professor of Government at Uppsala University and at the Swedish National Defence College. He has been a professor of political science and Director of the International Graduate School at the University of Stockholm and Director of Security Policy Research at the Swedish National Defence Research Establishment. He has published fifteen books and numerous scholarly articles on European security and foreign policy issues. He has extensive experience in training high level public officials in decision-making under pressure and has contributed to various government commissions in the area of security and defence policy.

    Brian White is Professor of International Relations at Warwick University and Staffordshire University, and also an Associate Professor at the Institut d'Etudes Politiques, Toulouse University. His publications include British Foreign Policy: Tradition, Change and Transformation (1988, with Steve Smith and Michael Smith); Understanding Foreign Policy (1989, with Michael Clarke); Britain, Detente and East-West Relations (1992); ‘The European Challenge to Foreign Policy Analysis’, European Journal of International Relations (Vol. 5, No. 1, 1999); Issues in World Politics (second edition, 2001, with Richard Little and Michael Smith); Understanding European Foreign Policy (2001); and ‘Expliquer la Défense Européenne: un défi pour les analyses théoriques’, Revue International et Stratégique (48, Winter, 2002).



    During the past few years scholars of both International Relations (IR) and European Union (EU) studies have paid increasing attention to foreign policy developments in Europe, in particular the emergence of what is often referred to as a distinctly European foreign policy system, based not on traditional state boundaries but on a progressively robust form of transnational governance. The growth of this complex and multilayered European foreign policy system represents not only a novelty but – as a direct consequence of this – also poses a challenge to conventional foreign policy analysis. This challenge is both analytical and substantive, in so far as it questions the applicability of the traditional tools and analytical foci of Foreign Policy Analysis (FPA) to the new empirical domain of European foreign policy, claiming that this sphere is sui generis and hence in need of a radically new reconceptualisation of its subject-matter. More specifically, what is at issue is the question of how to penetrate analytically a European constellation of states characterised by three types of ‘foreign’ interactions cutting across both member state and EU boundaries (see White, 2001: 40–1).

    The first of these is traditional national foreign policy, constituted by the separate and distinguishable foreign policy activities of the members states, which have arguably not decreased during the past decade despite a substantial increase in the scope of the other two types of relations. The second form of activity is EU foreign policy, referring to EU co-ordination of its political relations with the outside world, commonly referred to in terms of a commitment to establish a Common Foreign and Security Policy (CFSP) as specified in the Treaty on European Union (TEU) and figuratively expressed as Pillar II in the EU firmament. More recently the European Security and Defence Policy (ESDP) was launched to augment the CSFP, mainly in response to European powerlessness in the face of the blood-drenched dissolution of the former Yugoslavia. Finally, we also have EC foreign policy, which incorporates the more long-standing foreign economic policy aspects of European foreign policy.

    It is in order to penetrate these complex and interrelated European developments within foreign policy broadly conceived that the chapters of this volume have been commissioned as part of an international research project that has roots in research conducted at the Norwegian Institute of International Affairs (NUPI) – which has functioned as its institutional base – and the ARENA programme at the University of Oslo.1 The project as a whole has been financed by grants from the Norwegian Research Council. The aim has been to present a series of analyses on how the end of the Cold War and subsequent developments have changed the very nature of foreign policy in Europe, both with respect to the conduct of foreign policy by single member states as well as by the EU itself. What we have aimed for are individual contributions – standing on their own feet, but certainly not written in isolation of one another – on three dimensions of European Foreign Policy (EFP) as a new analytic focus of analysis: a first (and rather short) part on theories and concepts defining the general nature of this emerging field; a second examining a number of central analytical dimensions or issue areas characterising some of the most important empirical activities of European foreign policy-making; and a final section containing empirical case studies written in close conjunction with the respective analytical chapters in Part II. The intention has been for the analytical chapters to address their foci in general terms (incorporating both national-level and Union-level foreign policy, as well as the interaction between the two), reserving the chapters in the third part for more in depth analyses of particular empirical instances of each respective analytic dimension. Hence, although each of the chapters in this volume is self-contained and thus can be read by itself, there is an underlying logic sustaining the structure of the volume, especially in the way that the chapters in the second and third parts of the volume are interconnected in a pair-wise manner (this is also signalled in their respective chapter headings).

    Some additional caveats and commentary may be in order here. The first is that the co-editors have purposely avoided constructing and imposing a general or comparative framework of analysis in this volume. This does not mean that we have not been aware of, or uninterested in, the metatheoretical, theoretical and/or conceptual aspects of foreign policy analysis, or that we have felt that such concerns are misplaced in a volume such as this or with respect to the kind of topics it addresses.2 On the contrary: at least two of the co-editors have in the past dedicated considerable analytical energy to issues of this kind, and will undoubtedly continue to do so (see, for example, Carlsnaes, 2002; 2003, 2004; and White, 1999, 2001, 2004). However, in this particular volume we decided to leave generous space for the consideration of such questions to the two theoretically and conceptually oriented chapters in Part I, and then to allow individual or joint authors in the subsequent chapters to decide for themselves how to structure their contributions. It is in any case no easy task to apply a comparative approach to a subject-matter that not only encompasses the foreign policy activities of individual states, but also those of a single European actor constituted by the same member states. In other words, the very notion of multilevel governance with overlapping jurisdictions and partially pooled sovereignty complicates – perhaps even effectively undermines – the feasibility of the comparative analysis of foreign policy as conventionally conceived.

    The second is that despite the obvious fact that Europe – and the world at large – has experienced extra-ordinary turbulence in the very recent past, little of this will be reflected in the pages to follow. A major reason for this is that although joint European foreign policy interaction was notoriously passive during the Cold War period – pursued mainly within the rather quiescent ambit of European Political Co-operation (EPC) for a long time – this is no longer the case, and hence it has become difficult in a project such as this to keep track of what has become a very fast-moving target. There will, therefore, be very little discussion here of such highly topical and relevant issues as European divisions regarding the war on Iraq or of the current state of European-American relations. Instead, our specific aim has been to penetrate in some depths the more enduring developments that have characterised the conduct of foreign policy in Europe during the past decade or so.

    Third, there are other substantive lacunae in this volume as well, as we are the first to recognise. A major shortcoming is its very strong focus on Europe itself, to the detriment of European relations with states, international actors and developments beyond its immediate borders. Themes that spring to mind here, and which deserve extensive analysis in their own right in a context of this kind, are not only development assistance, humanitarian aid and democracy promotion in general – all strong European commitments for years – but also active peace-building and other diplomatic attempts in such disparate areas as Central America, the Middle East and the Korean Peninsula (see, for example, Bretherton and Vogler, 1999; and Smith, 1995, 2002). However, the past decade has been very much a period dominated by European issues and developments, from the collapse of the Berlin Wall to the civil and ethnic wars in the Balkans, in all of which Europe – and especially the EU – has played an important (albeit often a dismally impotent) role. This dominance of European issues and problems during this period should, of course, not make us forget that the EU in fact plays a powerful global role despite its often indecisive and ineffective stance in European affairs. However, in this volume we have consciously chosen to concentrate on the former, since it is these that over the past decade or so have brought EFP to the fore as an exceedingly intriguing area of analysis.

    Finally, during the time period that this project has been underway at least two political processes – both highly relevant to the development of European foreign policy – have dominated European politics: the imminent enlargement of the EU and the constitutional reforms which will emerge in response to the recommendations of the Constitutional Convention on the Future of Europe, established at the Laeken Summit in 2001. While enlargement is discussed in some of the chapters of this volume, this does not pertain to the work of the Convention.3 In view of this, I would like to conclude this short introduction by expanding very briefly and provisionally on the latter and on how its recommendations may potentially affect the foreign policy decision-making processes of both the EU and its member states.

    Looking Towards the Future

    The Convention was not simply faced with the task of coming to grips with problems of size and effective decision-making procedures within the context of enlargement, but was also given a broad mandate to show the way toward a clear and open, as well as an effective and democratically controlled Community approach.4 In short, underlying its creation lay not only a concern with the future problem-solving effectiveness of EU institutions, even though these are clearly of an overriding nature. Of equal importance was the normative appropriateness of EU institutions and processes, especially in the light of the increased demand within Europe for a greater clarity of competencies, a greater transparency of decision processes, and a greater democratic accountability of decision-makers (Scharpf, 2002: 2).5 The crucial question has been how the Constitutional Convention would be able to contribute to both aims without compromising either. In the past successful institutional reforms – such as those adopted in the Single European Act (SEA) or at Maastricht – were focused almost exclusively on substantive policy issues or goals on which prior agreement had been reached, whereas present concerns seem less preoccupied with questions of policy effectiveness and more with criteria pertaining to institutional appropriateness and democratic legitimacy.

    Although the tension between these two aims will affect the future of the EU as a whole, particularly in view of the challenge posed by the upcoming integration of the new accession states, it also complicates the ambition of making the CFSP more effective. This increased concern with foreign policy and security issues was already evident prior to the events of 11 September 2001 (particularly in connection with the launch of the ESDP in 1998), and has become even more pronounced subsequently as the US has expanded – mainly in a unilateralist and militarist mode – its all-out campaign against international terrorism and various so-called rogue regimes. Hence, although the Convention was initially set up in response to a general unease with the functioning of the EU, it perhaps came as no surprise that it also quickly came to embrace foreign policy aspects and attempts at reforming Pillar II structures as well, even though CFSP/ESDP issues were scarcely mentioned either in the Treaty of Nice or in the Laeken Declaration (see Hill, 2002). It is in this light that we should view the proposal to create a new and single position as EU ‘foreign secretary’, in addition to that of a new and presumably stronger presidency of the Council to replace the rotating national presidencies. However, before focusing more specifically on these EFP aspects, let us first briefly consider more generally the institutional ramifications of the current functioning of the EU and how these relate to the overarching concerns of the Constitutional Convention.

    At present, as Fritz Scharpf has argued, EU policy-making is conducted in terms of three different modes of governance differing substantially with respect to the criteria of effectiveness and legitimacy (Scharpf, 2002). The first and most fundamental is that of intergovernmental negotiation, based essentially on the principle of unanimity. Its polar opposite is supranational centralisation, requiring – as, for example, with the European Central Bank – no agreement whatsoever on the part of national governments. However, the most frequently employed mode is what Scharpf has called joint decision-making, in Brussels often referred to as ‘the Community method’. It has a number of procedural variants (one of the tasks of the Convention has, in fact, been to simplify these), but the dominant mode is that policy proposals must originate in the Commission, and in order to become effectuated, they need to be approved by a qualified majority vote in the Council of Ministers and by an absolute majority of the members of the European Parliament (EP).

    As Scharpf has also argued, all three modes differ on how they balance the dual desiderata of effectiveness and legitimacy. Based on the power (both positive and negative) of the veto, the first scores high on legitimacy but considerably less on its problem-solving effectiveness. The second, not dependent on national agreement or preferences, is potentially very effective, but achieves legitimacy only within the narrow boundaries of its specific mandate, premised on earlier joint and essentially irrevocable commitments. The third mode produces considerably better effectiveness than intergovernmentalism, and – given its beholdenness to support from both national governments and the European Parliament – has a broader foundation underwriting its legitimacy than the supranational model.

    Why, given the availability of these three types of governance, and especially the advantages of the joint-decision mode, is there nevertheless a perceived need to reform the institutional framework for making EU foreign policy decisions? If these have worked in the past, why has the Convention come to feel that reform is now necessary? The answer is clearly anything but straightforward, but the following factors hint at the dilemma involved.

    Given the establishment and rapid development of the ESDP as an integral part of the CFSP, including the Rapid Reaction Force (RRF), intended to consist of national armed forces ready for swift deployment to high risk conflict areas, any decisions made in its name will of necessity achieve high political salience within member states. As a result it will be well nigh impossible for their governments to be bound by majority decisions involving the sending of national contingents of RRF troops to combat zones. As Wolfgang Wessels has laconically noted, ‘only national authorities are legitimated to send out soldiers with the risk to be killed’ (Wessels, 2002: 5). At the same time it will be very difficult – for all kinds of historical, ideological and other reasons – to attain unanimity on European missions of this nature. Instead, any attempts to do so will undoubtedly provoke both divisive national debates and sticky negotiations on the European level, none of which is conducive to constructive diplomatic behaviour in crisis situations or, if the need arises, the kind of fleet-footed capability envisaged by the architects of RRF.

    In the light of this dilemma and the need for high levels of consensus on foreign policy issues, essentially two options are available within the Community framework. The first is to downgrade the influence of member governments in favour of upgrading the role of the Commission and the European Parliament. However, as Scharpf has argued, proposals along these lines are ‘based on an inadequate understanding of the normative preconditions of legitimate majority rule’ (Scharpf, 2002: 11). There is in any case little reason to expect the upcoming Intergovernmental Conference (IGC) to move in this direction, and any attempts by the Convention to propel European institutions towards a more majoritarian system could very well backfire by provoking current European debate and opinion to go against such change.

    The second option, advocated by Scharpf, is to accept the legitimacy of divergent national interests and preferences, and hence also the continued functionality of the current three modes of governing within the Union. The crucial issue then becomes how to cope with legitimate diversity in the pursuit of European foreign and security policy. If the Union is not to become wholly impotent in its foreign and security policy-making, this means that its members have to be willing to compromise on the requirement of uniformity.

    The magic words here are ‘differentiated integration’, opportunities for which already exist within the framework of the Treaties. In theory this means that it would be ‘possible for some governments to pool their military resources and to integrate their foreign policy even if such initiatives were not supported by all members states … In short, differentiated integration could facilitate European solutions in policy areas where unilateral national solutions are no longer effective while uniform European solutions could not be agreed upon’ (Scharpf, 2002: 14). However, this solution has one major drawback: while ‘in theory’ possible, this type of proposal is highly circumscribed by the Amsterdam Treaty, and policies promulgated in its name cannot challenge the existing body of European law. Also, it has never been tried.

    The underlying scepticism – even hostility – towards differentiated integration emanates from a deep-rooted ideological commitment to uniform law as a precondition for full integration. Scharpf's conclusion, and one which I find persuasive, is not only that a distinction should be made in the ongoing constitutional debate in Europe between legitimate and illegitimate diversity, but also that the upcoming IGC should take upon itself the task of trying to override this negative frame of mind and, instead, base its deliberations on an acceptance of the reality of a multi-level European polity. If this task is taken seriously, we can perhaps also look forward to European foreign and security policy in due course becoming both more effective and more legitimate.


    1 ARENA is an acronym for Advanced Research on the Europeanisation of the Nation-State, a research programme and centre established 10 years ago and located at the University of Oslo.

    2 For a recent example of a comparative approach attempting to structure an entire edited volume on the foreign policy actions of the EU member states, see Manners and Whitman (2000). It should be added here, however, that White does argue for a comparative analytical framework for EFP in Chapter 1, based on a systems model approach used extensively in Ginsberg (2001) and White (2001).

    3 On enlargement issues, see in particular the chapters by Sedelmeier, Menéndez and Charillon.

    4 This final section is extensively based on Carlsnaes (2003). I would also like to add – and this is evident from the text itself – that my thinking here has been strongly influenced by a recent contribution to this topic by Fritz Scharpf (2002).

    5 I would like to add here that normative considerations of this kind, including the central issue of legitimacy, constitute one of the central themes of this volume. See, e.g., the chapters by Sedelmeier, Matlary Menéndez and Sjursen.

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