Since the Second World War Europe has been a mere glimpse of its former glory. By the end of the Second World War, the European countries has seen their position in the world be taken over by superpowers like USA and the then Soviet Union. The EU has slowly but steadily lifted the European countries from their slumber and has made Europe a very strong economic entity. But Europe still has not risen to its former glory, in terms of international politics. In 1993, a foreign policy section, named the CFSP (Common Foreign and Security Policy), was written into the Maastricht Treaty, declaring that the EU now would have a foreign policy. Up till today changes has been made to the foreign policy section in respectively the Amsterdam Treaty, Nice Treaty and the Lisbon Treaty. This has ensured that the EU member states can make common strategies together, they seek to reach common foreign policy positions, they have a High representative of CFSP and can amount a peacekeeping army of 60.000 men. But the CFSP has a hollow ring to it, since it is an intergovernmental cooperation. Because it is an intergovernmental cooperation, the EU member states are therefore required to completely agree in most cases, when wanting to reach a foreign policy statement or action. This has proven extremely difficult as the member states have their own agendas or foreign policy perspectives. Because of these differences on foreign policy issues, it has left the EU looking bad in numerous situations. How can one take the EU seriously when the member states cannot agree internally? A crisis occurred in relation to the invasion of Iraq in 2003, where countries, including Great Britain, argued that Iraq should be invaded as they were believed to be in possession of weapons of mass destruction. Other countries, including France and Germany, insisted that there was no proof of Iraq having weapons of mass destruction, and therefore further investigations of the matter should be made. The invasion went through and left Europe divided and far from the image the EU wants to send, as a united union. Again, in 2008 in Georgia an unfortunate series of events left the EU looking bad. Separatist regions in Georgia wanted independence and this was backed by Russia. The EU, failing to act prior to the event "allowed" a war to break out. The European fear of deteriorating the relationship with Russia, and loosing oil and gas agreements, meant that the EU did not fully help Georgia when Georgia asked for help before the war broke out. The EU was not strong enough to match Russia in foreign affairs and had to comply with most of Russia's actions. In 2009 though, the EU did show some of its foreign political potential. It stood firm regarding North Korea's nuclear tests. Sanctions were to be put on North Korea if they did not cooperate. North Korea have now shown signs of cooperation. The EU is currently not strong enough in foreign political matters. These examples show that there is a lot of work to be done before the EU can become stronger in international politics. The Iraq example show that there is different ideas on how a common European foreign policy should be. Some of the countries wanted a more hard and direct way of acting in international politics, where other wanted to use negotiations and diplomacy. The Georgian example shows that the EU could use some muscle in foreign policy terms. Just like in the North Korea example where the EU used their economic strength to put pressure on North Korea. But against a great power such as Russia, the EU was left with very little to do because Russia proved too strong. To become stronger internationally is also important in terms of reaching a form independence in world politics. USA has stood by Europe since the Second World War, partly economically and to a higher degree militarily. But Europe cannot always count on USA to be there to support Europe. USA is having financial problems and other nations, like China, are becoming more important by the day. So USA might not always have the strength or desire to protect Europe from the outside world. Therefore, it is important for Europe to start thinking about becoming stronger internationally, by being an entity of many states in order to get more influence. That the member states of EU have difficulties cooperating in regards of a common European foreign policy have great implications for the EU. It prevents other nations from taking the EU seriously, like they do with other nations. This is simply because the EU is not always an entity that they can count on, as the EU has plenty of problems internally when dealing with foreign policies. The EU member states are reluctant to give sovereignty to the EU regarding the foreign policy area, though. It will probably take years of European integration before the member states would even consider making foreign policy a supranational part of the EU.
|Educations||MA in International Business Communication (Intercultural Marketing), (Graduate Programme) Final Thesis|
|Number of pages||46|