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Realism in the EU: Can a Trans-national Actor Be Strategic?

  • Vincent Della SalaEmail author
  • Roberto Belloni
Chapter
Part of the Global Issues book series (GLOISS)

Abstract

The aim of this chapter is not to trace the development of the EU’s foreign policy or to provide a comprehensive discussion of particular cases. Our objective is to examine some of the challenges that the EU faces in trying to act “strategically” in geopolitical spaces in close proximity and which have been traditionally sources of the types of conflict that led to the reasons for the creation of the Union in the 1950s. The global reach of the EU and its member states inevitably means that it takes on many different roles in its foreign policy and approaches to international relations. However, we will focus on two areas that are particularly useful to illustrate the challenges the EU faces in being a strategic actor as well as the continuing or growing nationalization of foreign policy: its actions in the Balkans and the EU’s relations with Russia. Our argument is that both areas present not only foreign policy challenges but also existential issues that point to the EU’s lack of ontological security. They highlight the tension in the growing need to make strategic choices in both cases while remaining consistent with its narrative of a benign, normative power.

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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Sociology and Social ResearchUniversity of TrentoTrentoItaly

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