Advertisement

Institutional Perspectives on the EU’s Strategic Partnerships: Where Is the Focus and Authority?

Chapter
Part of the The European Union in International Affairs book series (EUIA)

Abstract

While EU strategic partnerships have gained prominence as an essential EU foreign policy tool, their meaning has remained largely vague and unspecified. This is related to a lack of institutional ownership in the EU foreign policy system. This chapter considers how the activity of key institutional actors such as the European External Action Service, the High Representative and the European Commission have shaped the meaning and role of EU strategic partnerships. This institution-centric perspective provides the background for the rest of the edited volume in that it scrutinizes the policy-setting and institutional framework of strategic partnerships. Its analysis is focused on the period after the 2009 Lisbon Treaty, as this was meant to enhance the EU’s capacity to act as a strategic and coherent foreign policy actor. The chapter focuses on institutional roles in shaping strategic partnership goals, the development of frameworks, as well as the influence of institutional complexity on their management. It ultimately argues that there is little institutional leadership on the strategic partnerships, as the presence of bureaucratic politics facilitated by the complex institutional set-up in Brussels has hindered a consideration of these in the context of the EU’s wider foreign policy.

Keywords

Institutions Bureaucratic politics EEAS European Commission Strategic partnerships EU treaty negotiations 

References

  1. Bendiek, A., & Kramer, H. (2010). The EU as a ‘Strategic’ International Actor: Substantial and Analytical Ambiguities. European Foreign Affairs Review, 15(4), 453–474.Google Scholar
  2. Casier, T. (2019). Russia and the European Union. In Oxford Research Encyclopedia, Politics. Oxford: Oxford University Press.  https://doi.org/10.1093/acrefore/9780190228637.013.1051.
  3. Chung, S. W., & Lee, J.-S. (2019). Building the Pillars of the EU-South Korea Strategic Partnership. Asia Europe Journal, 17(3), 327–340.  https://doi.org/10.1007/s10308-019-00557-z.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Council of the EU. (2010a, November 30). Council Decision Authorising the European Commission and the High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy to Negotiate on Behalf of the European Union, the Provisions of a Framework Agreement Between the European Union and Its Member States, of the One Part, and Canada, of the Other Part, That Fall Within the Competence of the European Union. Brussels: Council of the European Union.Google Scholar
  5. Council of the EU. (2010b, November 30). Decision of the Representatives of the Governments of the Member States, Meeting Within the Council, Authorising the European Commission to Negotiate, on Behalf of the Member States, the Provisions of a Framework Agreement Between the European Union and Its Member States, of the One Part, and Canada, of the Other Part, That Fall Within the Competences of the Member States. Brussels: Council of the European Union.Google Scholar
  6. Council of the EU. (2011, October 4). 5th European Union—Brazil Summit Joint Statement. Brussels: Council of the European Union.Google Scholar
  7. Council of the EU. (2016a, July 18). EU Strategy on China. Council conclusions. Brussels: Council of the European Union.Google Scholar
  8. Council of the EU. (2016b, August 5). Strategic Partnership Agreement Between the European Union and Its Member States, of the One Part, and Canada, of the Other Part. Brussels: Council of the European Union.Google Scholar
  9. D’Ambrogio, E. (2019). The EU-Japan Strategic Partnership Agreement (SPA): A Framework to Promote Shared Values. Brussels: European Parliamentary Research Service.Google Scholar
  10. da Conceição-Heldt, E., & Meunier, S. (2014). Speaking with a Single Voice: Internal Cohesiveness and External Effectiveness of the EU in Global Governance. Journal of European Public Policy, 21(7), 961–979.  https://doi.org/10.1080/13501763.2014.913219.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Delreux, T. (2015). Bureaucratic Politics, New Institutionalism and Principal-Agent Models. In K. E. Jørgensen, Å. K. Aarstad, E. Drieskens, K. Laatikainen, & B. Tonra (Eds.), The SAGE Handbook of European Foreign Policy (pp. 152–165). London: Sage.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. EEAS. (2016, June 2). Shared Vision, Common Action: A Stronger Europe: A Global Strategy for the European Union’s Foreign And Security Policy. Brussels: European External Action Service.Google Scholar
  13. EU-Brazil Summit. (2014, February 24). 7th EU-Brazil Summit Joint Statement. Brussels: Council of the European Union.Google Scholar
  14. European Commission and HRVP. (2016, June 22). Elements for a New EU Strategy on China. Joint Communication to the European Parliament and the Council. Brussels: European Commission, High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy.Google Scholar
  15. European Commission and HRVP. (2019a, March 12). EU-China—A Strategic Outlook. Joint Communication to the European Parliament and the Council. Brussels: European Commission, High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy.Google Scholar
  16. European Commission and HRVP. (2019b, April 16). European Union, Latin America and the Caribbean: Joining Forces for a Common Future. Joint Communication to the European Parliament and the Council. Brussels: European Commission, High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy.Google Scholar
  17. European Council. (2010). European Council Conclusions 16 September 2010. Brussels: General Secretariat of the Council.Google Scholar
  18. Ferreira-Pereira, L. C., & Vieira, A. V. G. (2016). Introduction: The European Union’s Strategic Partnerships: Conceptual Approaches, Debates and Experiences. Cambridge Review of International Affairs, 29(1), 3–17.  https://doi.org/10.1080/09557571.2015.1130341.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Furness, M., & Gänzle, S. (2017). The Security–Development Nexus in European Union Foreign Relations After Lisbon: Policy Coherence at Last? Development Policy Review, 475–492.  https://doi.org/10.1111/dpr.12191.
  20. Grevi, G. (2013). The EU Strategic Partnerships: Process and Purposes. In M. Telò & F. Ponjaert (Eds.), The EU’s Foreign Policy: What Kind of Power and Diplomatic Action? (pp. 159–173). Globalisation, Europe, Multilateralism Series. Farnham, Surrey: Ashgate.Google Scholar
  21. Mayer, H. (2013). The Challenge of Coherence and Consistency in EU Foreign Policy. In M. Telò & F. Ponjaert (Eds.), The EU’s Foreign Policy: What Kind of Power and Diplomatic Action? (pp. 105–117). Globalisation, Europe, Multilateralism Series. Farnham: Ashgate.Google Scholar
  22. Murray, P. (2016). EU–Australia Relations: A Strategic Partnership in All but Name? Cambridge Review of International Affairs, 29(1), 171–191.  https://doi.org/10.1080/09557571.2015.1015487.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Renard, T. (2011). The Treachery of Strategies: A Call for True EU Strategic Partnerships. Egmont Paper 45. Brussels: EGMONT.Google Scholar
  24. Renard, T. (2013). The EU and Its Strategic Partners: A Critical Assessment of the EU’s Strategic Partnerships. In S. Biscop & R. G. Whitman (Eds.), The Routledge Handbook of European Security (pp. 302–314). Abingdon: Routledge.Google Scholar
  25. Renard, T. (2016). Partnerships for Effective Multilateralism? Assessing the Compatibility Between EU Bilateralism, (Inter-)Regionalism and Multilateralism. Cambridge Review of International Affairs, 29(1), 18–35.  https://doi.org/10.1080/09557571.2015.1060691.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Schade, D. (2019a). Fuzzy Roles in EU External Relations Governance: The Difficult Construction of Informal Policy Coordination Frameworks. In L. van Heumen & M. Roos (Eds.), The Informal Construction of Europe (pp. 199–216). Abingdon: Routledge.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Schade, D. (2019b). Of Insiders and Outsiders: Assessing EU Strategic Partnerships in Their Regional Context. International Politics, 56(3), 375–394.  https://doi.org/10.1057/s41311-017-0132-y.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Schade, D. (2020). The EU in Association Agreement Negotiations: Challenges to Complex Policy Coordination. Abingdon: Routledge.Google Scholar
  29. Schmidt-Felzmann, A. (2016). The Breakdown of the EU’s Strategic Partnership with Russia: From Strategic Patience Towards a Strategic Failure. Cambridge Review of International Affairs, 29(1), 99–127.  https://doi.org/10.1080/09557571.2015.1130096.
  30. Smith, K. E. (2017). A European Union Global Strategy for a Changing World? International Politics, 54(4), 503–518.  https://doi.org/10.1057/s41311-017-0041-0.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Smith, M. (2012). Still Rooted in Maastricht: EU External Relations as a “Third-Generation Hybrid”. Journal of European Integration, 34(7), 699–715.  https://doi.org/10.1080/07036337.2012.726010.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Smith, M. H. (2018). Does the Flag Still Follow Trade? Agency, Politicization and External Opportunity Structures in the Post-Lisbon System of EU Diplomacy. The Hague Journal of Diplomacy, 13(1), 41–56.  https://doi.org/10.1163/1871191X-13010011.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. Tocci, N. (2017). From the European Security Strategy to the EU Global Strategy: Explaining the Journey. International Politics, 54(4), 487–502.  https://doi.org/10.1057/s41311-017-0045-9.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. Van Rompuy, H. (2010, September 14). We Have Strategic Partners, Now We Need a Strategy. Transcript of a speech by European Council President Herman Van Rompuy. Brussels: European Council.Google Scholar
  35. Vivet, E., & de Lalande, V. (2014). EU Strategic Partnerships: Shallow Political Summits, Active Technical Dialogues? Paris: Institute for Research and Education on Negotiation (IRENE).Google Scholar

Copyright information

© The Author(s), under exclusive license to Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2021

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of GovernmentCornell UniversityIthacaUSA

Personalised recommendations