A European Union global strategy for a changing world?


The EU agreed a ‘global strategy on foreign and security policy’ in June 2016, in the midst of unprecedented turmoil within the EU and outside it. This article begins with a discussion of what ‘strategy’ entails, and the challenges of strategising in the EU. It then traces the development of the EU global strategy, focusing on why it was considered to be necessary, and summarises its content. Finally, the article analyses the new strategy in terms of clarity of strategic objectives, specification of resources dedicated to the pursuit of those objectives, and provision for monitoring of progress made in achieving the objectives. The global strategy provides a more ‘realist’ guide for EU foreign and security policy in the near future, but Brexit presents a severe challenge to implementing it in a world in which EU influence is increasingly resisted or contested.

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Correspondence to Karen E. Smith.

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Smith, K.E. A European Union global strategy for a changing world?. Int Polit 54, 503–518 (2017). https://doi.org/10.1057/s41311-017-0041-0

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  • Brexit
  • European Union foreign and security policy
  • EU global strategy
  • Strategy