The future of values in the EU Global Strategy 2020

Author (Person) ,
Series Title
Series Details Number 112
Publication Date 19/11/2019
Content Type

In June 2019 the EU marked the third anniversary of the EU Global Strategy (EUGS), adopted as a response both to the increasingly complex, contested and conflict-prone external environment and to internal divisions that threaten the coherence of the EU’s external action. Compared with the initial 2003 European Security Strategy (ESS), the EUGS’s distinctive features encompass an explicit recourse to the EU’s self-interest and the downscaling of the transformative ambitions of the EU’s foreign policy. As opposed to the ESS, the EUGS has been ‘more conscious of the limits, imposed by our own capabilities and by others’ intractability’, and more specific about the EU’s strategic priorities (‘Security and Defence’, ‘Building State and Societal Resilience’, ‘Integrated Approach to Conflicts and Crises’, ‘Cooperative Regional Orders’, ‘A Rules-Based Governance’ and ‘Public Diplomacy’). According to the recent report on the implementation of the EUGS, a sharp focus on the EU’s vital interests and strategic priorities, listed above, helped the Union achieve considerable progress in a number of foreign policy domains, ranging from defence to countering external crises. Furthermore, as exemplified by the Permanent Structured Cooperation (PESCO), the launch of the EUGS has also been conducive to foreign and security policy integration among the Member States. However, to further promote a ‘stronger Europe in a fragile world’, in light of new intra-EU and external developments, Josep Borrell, the new HR/VP, will have to review the EUGS.

We argue that the EUGS 2020 would benefit from a new emphasis on values and a more open and elaborate position on ‘principled pragmatism’ (a concept introduced by the EUGS to ‘reconcile’ the EU’s self-interest and its normative commitments). To substantiate this argument, we follow several steps. First, we analyse the extent to which the EUGS has offered a ‘paradigm change’ with regard to the EU’s external value-promotion and the interplay between values and self-interest. Next, we look at the demand for a more normative EU, as expressed both within and outside the Union, with regard to the different domains of its external action. Finally, we explain how the renewed emphasis on values and a clearly shaped interplay between fundamental values and self-interest can boost the EU’s role as a global player against the background of a crisis of the international liberal order.

Source Link
Alternative sources
Subject Categories ,
Subject Tags
Countries / Regions