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 Union’s 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.

The Multilateral System

The multilateral system
Edith Drieskens Laura Van Dievel

Introduction

The Lisbon Treaty dictates that the EU shall promote ‘multilateral solutions to common problems, in particular in the framework of the United Nations’ (Treaty on European Union, Article 10A(1)) as well as ‘an international system based on stronger multilateral cooperation and good governance’ (Treaty on European Union, Article 10A(2)(h)). In doing so, it is the first European treaty to refer explicitly to multilateralism. This observation might be surprising because the EU and multilateralism are often seen as two sides of the same coin, both in policy and academic circles. The US may have been instrumental for the creation of the post-war multilateral order and may still ...

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