The book further shows the significance of the institutional interplay within the EU, and between EU institutions, member states and external actors led by their own internal dynamics to explain policy outcomes. It investigates to what extent the perceptions of the international community towards the European Communities and the EU have been influenced by the complexity of their decision-making and the difficulty of reconciling the views of member states on key external relations issues. The authors also study the interplay of non-EU countries and the EU within the broader context of international and regional institutions and forums for international cooperation.
The European Rescue of the Empire or the EU as Ferment of Change in International Relations?
The EU as Ferment of Change in the World?
Monash University and Université libre de Bruxelles
On July 1st 2013, Croatia joined the European Union. In Australia, EU Ambassador David Daly hailed its entry into this “democratic peace and reconciliation club” as a “great day for Europe and for the world”. The EU was well deserving of its Nobel Peace Prize, he insisted. Born as “a political project for peace and reconciliation after the Second World War”, it had succeeded in reinforcing democratic values in Europe.1 The previous year, the EU Ambassador to India had written an article in The Times of India entitled “Nobel Years of Peace in Europe” in which he explained the EU approach to promoting reconciliation and democratic values in a continent which had been frequently ravaged by war.2 Both speeches were very much in tune with the Norwegian Nobel Committee’s praise of the EU for its contribution “to the advancement of peace and reconciliation, democracy and human rights in Europe”. The Committee commended the EU and its forerunners for bringing about reconciliation between former enemies, introducing democracy in Greece, Portugal and Spain, strengthening democracy in central and eastern Europe and fostering reconciliation in the Balkans. Today, Croatia is a member of the EU and accession talks have been opened with Serbia. It does seem, then, that the EU, in the words of the Nobel Committee, is playing a role in helping “transform most of Europe from a continent of war to a continent of peace”.3...
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