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ISSN (Print) 1996-7845

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Sven Biscop (Translation ed. by: Marina Larionova 1)
  • 1 RANEPA, 11 Prechistenskaya naberezhnaya, Moscow, 119034, Russia

Europe and the World or Snow White and the Seven Fallacies

2014. Vol. 9. No. 1. P. 7–18 [issue contents]

Sven Biscop – PhD, Director, Europe in the World Programme, The Royal Institute for International Relations Egmont; 69, Rue de Namur, 691000, Brussels, Belgium; E-mail: s.biscop@egmontinstitute.be

Although the European Union members possess significant collective economic power, military capabilities and are the leading powers in shaping the world’s public opinion, the EU absolute weight in world politics remains weak. The article addresses the issues which contain the European potential as an influential strategic actor in international relations. Drawing parallels between the traditional fairy tale cliché and the reality of the European foreign policymaking the author discloses and analyses the “seven fallacies” that stop the Europeans from being the international player that collectively they could be. The author argues that the lack of unity, sense of purpose for a resolute and sustained action to uphold common values, the absence of a strategic dialogue and a resolute and clear common foreign policy strategy diminishes the European Union’s prospects of becoming an influential international power. Institutional aspects of the EU foreign policy initiatives play a key role in this process as well. The author also criticizes the existing model of the EU relations with other countries – both with traditional NATO allies, and foreign aid recipients or partner-states. Realizing and overcoming these fallacies is therefore a first priority of the European foreign policy. It is of vital importance that the EU members don’t hesitate to take collective actions and defend common interests. The first step on a path to overcoming the fallacies is to launch a strategic debate aimed at defining a common EU foreign policy strategy. Despite the shortcomings of the EU foreign policy, the author states that there is no reason for pessimism – European governments’ pragmatism will not allow the long-term integration trend to break off. Sooner or later the member-states’ interests in such areas as foreign policy, security and defense will be harmonized. 

Citation: Biscop S. (2014) Europe and the World or Snow White and the Seven Fallacies. International Organisations Research Journal, vol. 9, no 1, pp. 7-19 (in Russian).
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