The Strategic Interests of the European Union

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Series Details No.404, September 2016
Publication Date 26/09/2016
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Logically the analysis of the European Union's interests should not be a problem. Due to Europe's position in the world, its action in terms of the major challenges facing our societies (environment, energy, information society, terrorism, etc...) and its profile within major international organisations, it is quite easy to establish a strategic agenda for the Union without this causing any controversy.

But the reality of the matter is that beyond such descriptions, which are often for academic use, European players -Member States and institutions- have hardly felt concerned by such agendas, since the feeling of common European interest is still weakly shared, if not contested, by those who primarily look to their own interests. In other words, European strategic interests exist and are visible to all, but their impact on world affairs remains singularly limited in contrast to the theoretic influence of Europe in the international arena. In order to be operational and concrete Europe's common interests have to be perceived and accepted as such by the Europeans themselves. The problem is that they often seem to be the last ones to be able or wanting to do so.

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