EU Foreign Policy and Norm Contestation in an Eroding Western and Intra-EU Liberal Order

Part of the Norm Research in International Relations book series (NOREINRE)


The idea of the European Union being increasingly contested, whether globally or at home, is a frequently reiterated notion. It is believed that such challenges to the European integration stem from a number of diverse but interlinked global and intra-EU crises that, combined, amount to the current ‘perfect storm’ affecting the EU and its foreign, security and defense policy. We will explore here how the EU is being put to the test in terms of the norms and fundamental values which guide its foreign policy. It is an important issue within the broader debates of the European crises, as such norm contestation may have a deeper structural and longer-term effect on the EU’s external action and its ‘resilience’ as an international actor. We employ insights from the norm contestation literature to scrutinize a number of the most important current challenges articulated against EU foreign policy norms in recent years, whether at the global, ‘glocal’ or intra-EU level.



Elisabeth Johansson-Nogués wishes to acknowledge VISIONS (Visions and practices of geopolitics in the European Union and its neighborhood) funded by the National R + D Plan of the Spanish Ministry of Science, Innovation and Universities (CSO2017-82622-P).

Martijn C. Vlaskamp thanks the Beatriu de Pinós postdoctoral program of the Government of Catalonia’s Secretariat for Universities and Research (Ministry of Economy and Knowledge) for funding (Grant number: 2017-BP-152).

Esther Barbé is grateful to the Catalan Agency for Management of University and Research Grants (AGAUR) for funds making this research possible (2017 SGR 693).


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© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Institut Barcelona d’Estudis Internacionals (IBEI)BarcelonaSpain

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