During the last two decades the study of European foreign policy has experienced remarkable growth, presumably reflecting a more significant international role of the European Union. The Union has significantly expanded its policy portfolio and though empty symbolic politics still exists, the Unions international relations have become more substantial and its foreign policy more focused. European foreign policy has become a dynamic policy area, being adapted to changing challenges and environments, such as the Arab Spring, new emerging economies/powers; the crisis of multilateralism and much more. The SAGE Handbook of European Foreign Policy, Two-Volume set, is a major reference work for Foreign Policy Programmes around the world. The Handbook is designed to be accessible to graduate and postgraduate students in a wide variety of disciplines across the humanities and social sciences. Both volumes are structured to address areas of critical concern to scholars at the cutting edge of all major dimensions of foreign policy. The volumes are composed of original chapters written specifically to the following themes: Research traditions and historical experience Theoretical perspectives EU actors State actors Societal actors The politics of European foreign policy Bilateral relations Relations with multilateral institutions Individual policies Transnational challenges The Handbook will be an essential reference for both advanced students and scholars.
Chapter 36: Commercial internationalism
At the highest point of the 2008–13 Eurocrisis, scholars and commentators interested in the European Union (EU) trade policy were distracted from domestic austerity management by a number of important events. First, a series of trade fights between the EU and China exposed disunity among EU member states and questioned the supranational authority of the EU trade commissioner Karel De Gucht, particularly in the case of the EU–China dispute about solar panels during the first half of 2013. De Gucht's initial attempt to defend European industry against Chinese dumping practices by levying tariffs averaging 47 per cent on Chinese solar panels was successfully counteracted by a coalition of member states led by Germany. In turn ...