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European Union Diplomacy

Coherence, Unity and Effectiveness - With a Foreword by Herman Van Rompuy

Series:

Dieter Mahncke and Sieglinde Gstöhl

This volume looks at the changing goals and instruments of European Union diplomacy and examines the reforms of the Lisbon Treaty and their effects on the unity and coherence of EU external action.
The authors analyse institutional questions, particularly about the European External Action Service (EEAS) and the role of other EU actors in European foreign policy, and explore recent examples of EU multilateral, bilateral and unilateral diplomacy as well as the external perspective of third actors.
The study concludes by investigating the current and future training of the Union’s diplomats, which aims to prepare them for an effective EEAS. Will the implementation of the Lisbon Treaty reforms make the EU fit for the future? Can a common European foreign policy ensure that European interests are taken into consideration and that European values shape international relations? Will the European Union be an actor or an object on the international stage in the coming decades?

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CONCLUSION

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241 CHAPTER 10 Fit for the Future Training European Diplomats Dieter MAHNCKE & Sieglinde GSTÖHL How Much Common Foreign Policy Is There Really? It is a mark of the European Union – as of all political institutions worldwide – to portray its activities in brightest terms. Successes, be they ever so small, are highlighted, failures are downplayed and diffi- culties are presented as new and welcome challenges. But is this justi- fied for the European common foreign policy? Despite the enthusiasm that accompanied the Amsterdam Treaty in the 1990s and the development of processes, instruments and institu- tions for a common European foreign and security policy, the past few years have witnessed scant progress. On the contrary. Yes, there have been a number of operations under the Common Security and Defense Policy (CSDP). Militarily they were usually of limited scope, including the ongoing first naval operation Atalanta. Some of the civilian mis- sions have been more ambitious, aiming at stabilisation, the build-up of institutions and even democratisation. The largest and most ambitious of these is EULEX Kosovo. But such missions are of a long-term nature and it is difficult to give a final assessment at this stage. Yet whatever the judgement on such operations and missions may be and whatever benefits they may have brought, they have neither led to nor are they perceived as the ‘single European voice’ in foreign policy or the expression of an enhanced European role on the international stage. The hard truth is that the EU is...

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