Europe’s Patchwork Foreign Policy Needs More Than a Few New Stitches
Policy Challenge: The EU has been trying to develop a foreign and security policy in the midst of calls for Brussels to step up its international engagement. But the EU gets stuck on institutional, capability, strategic, and political matters. Now European leaders have asked their high representative for foreign and security policy to devise a strategy. A new sense of purpose is a necessary but politically challenging task; the process will be as important as its substance.
Policy Recommendations: The necessary cognitive shift among EU states and institutions in understanding global challenges that may lead to a new foreign and security policy requires more than persuasive analyses and calls for common action. States need to address whether their attachment to national sovereignty is relevant in a context of interdependence and to identify how the so-called national interest can be pursued collectively. The political challenge for the high representative will be to keep the member states deeply involved while avoiding a consensus-focused process that produces yet another meaningless document.