The United Kingdom
With the late 1990s, equating the United Kingdom’s national interest to the development of a strong European foreign policy became a recurrent theme for British leaderships (Cameron, 1999). For example, former foreign secretary David Miliband stressed on many occasions Britain”s need to contribute to the foreign policy of the European Union (EU) and embrace it: “to be frightened of European foreign policy is blinkered, fatalistic and wrong (…) Britain should embrace it, shape it and lead European foreign policy” (Summers, 2009). Nonetheless, British support for the EU’s foreign policy has been often limited only to an abstract goal and its possible consequences, but almost never expressed in relation to the methods that could turn such an aspiration into reality. Criticism toward the European External Action Service (EEAS) is indicative of British distrust for modes of further integration in foreign policy and diplomacy devised at the supranational level (Burke, 2012). Public opinion surveys highlight the same tendency for the British general public, who is more willing to accept “more Europe” (German Marshall Fund, 2010) in foreign policy than in other policy areas (European Commission, 2011), and even consider an individual approach from Britain less desirable than a unified European policy.
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