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The European Community and the World

A Historical Perspective

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Edited By Giuliana Laschi

The European Community (EC) has taken on an outward-looking dimension over the years since its first establishment, developing structures and tools which are unprecedented in the history of international relations.
The original signatories of the Treaty of Rome accepted the idea of a «little» Europe only as a first step towards something that would be much bigger and more powerful; ultimately, they wanted to provide the EC with the international power necessary to realize the idea of the common market.
It is not possible to properly define the EC’s actions towards the rest of the world as «foreign policy» in every case and at every stage of its history; nevertheless, the EC has undoubtedly always played a strong and significant international role, even if this role has been expressed in an unconventional way compared to the international system.
This volume on European spaces and borders provides a meeting-point for a number of very different analyses and interpretations, from a variety of disciplinary, chronological and geopolitical perspectives, and in so doing develops a rich and complex debate.
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Instrumental Bridges or Fruitful Ties? Spain’s Role in the Consolidation of an EU-Latin America Partnership (Cristina Blanco Sío-López)

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Cristina BLANCO SÍO-LÓPEZ

“Los ojos por que suspiras,sábelo bien,los ojos en que te mirasson ojos porque te ven.”Antonio Machado

The historical relation between the European Community (EC) and Latin America can be further explored and clarified through the introduction of a particular catalyser simultaneously linked to both world regions, which constituted its main foreign relations priorities, despite some discontinuities in its diplomatic orientations. This catalytic agent would be Spain, a player that, through the evolution of its national interests, also created new links with third countries and supranational organizations, as in the case of its progressive role in the consolidation of an EU-Latin America Partnership. From this perspective, this case study will allow the exploration at once of the European foreign policy-shaping influence of a current EU member state before and after its accession, as well as the overarching interdependencies increasingly connecting the Community with global actors.

Indeed, the historical evolution of Latin America’s perception regarding the European Communities is closely linked to the discourse and implementation of Spain’s self-appointed role as mediator in the aforementioned triangular relation.

As a starting point, it would be useful to go back to Altamira’s provocative premise, which points out the vagueness of the nodal point of Spain’s historical relation with Latin America in affirming that “imagining fraternities without substance is as rhetorical as spending time calling for practical realities, without implementing any of them”1. Such a notion ← 121...

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