The European Union as Post-National Realist Power
Forthcoming in Steven Blockmans and Panos Koutrakos (eds), Research Handbook on the EU’s Common Foreign and Security Policy, Elgar Publishing, 2018, 394-444
iCourts Working Paper Series No. 125
49 Pages Posted: 31 Mar 2018 Last revised: 30 Jun 2019
Date Written: March 26, 2018
The paper argues that the post-national character of the EU is not incompatible with a realist foreign policy. The Treaties and the relevant strategy papers clearly demonstrate that ‘liberal realism’ is the deep structure determining the Union’s identity and foreign policy. The Union’s primary objective is to preserve its fundamental interests, independence, integrity and security. Moreover, the Union promotes its liberal-democratic values that maximize its authority in international relations. The realist dimension of the Union’s foreign policy has come into expression as result of systemic risks arising in the neighbouring geopolitical spaces. The EU migration policy post-2015 and the jurisprudence of the CJEU were shaped by the prioritization of the rule of law and maintenance of order over individual claims, benefits and expectations. In the area of security and defence, the Union and the MS have made a ‘great leap forward’ through minilaterism, mutual assistance clause, and adoption of the framework of permanent structured cooperation.
Keywords: geopolitics, liberalism, realism, universalism, particularism, minilateralism, solidarity, permanent structured cooperation
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