International Relations and the European Union. Values before Power

Scientific Study, 2020

137 Pages




Modernism, Postmodernism and Postnationalism: A Discourse

The Lisbon Treaty and the EU as a Global Actor

Elitism, Parochialism and the European Avant-Garde

The New International Context: The EU and the BRICS

The European Union and the Emergence of China

The Power of Legacy

Imagining the ‘New World Order’




International Relations and the European Union: Values before Power


Goran Ilik, PhD


Prof. Dariusz Milczarek (Centrum Europejskie, University of Warsaw, Poland)

Prof. Ioan Horga (Faculty of history, international relations, political science and communication science, University of Oradea, Romania)

Language redaction:

Bojan Gruevski, MA

Copyright © Goran Ilik 2020

All rights reserved. Except for the quoatation of short passages for the purpose of criticism and review, no part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrival system, or transmitted, in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording or otherwise, without the prior permission of the author.

The author has used its best endeavours to ensure that the URLs for external websites referred to in this book are correct and active at the time of going press. However, the author has no responsibility for the websites and can make no guarantee that a site will remain live or that the content is or will remain appropriate.

To my supportive wife Nina and my lovely children Mihail and Alexei


Many people have helped me in the preparation of this book. For valuable observations, comments and collaboration I have to thank my dear friends and colleagues Erwan Fouere, Artur Adamczyk, Cristina-Maria Dogot, Natalia Cuglesan, Goran Bandov, and Angelo Viglianisi Ferraro.

Finally, to my caring, loving, and supportive wife Nina: my deepest gratitude. Your encouragement when times got rough are much appreciated and duly noted. My heartfelt thanks.

Goran Ilik, PhD


NDB New Development Bank

RSA Republic of South Africa

CRA Contingent Reserve Arrangement

TFEU Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union

LT Lisbon Treaty

COM European Commission

EP European Parliament

ECJ European Court of Justice

EUR. COUNCIL European Council

QMV Qualified Majority Voting

FDI Foreign direct investments

US/USA United States of America

EU European Union

UN United Nations

NATO North Atlantic Treaty Organization

CFSP Common Foreign and Security Policy

CSDP Common Security and Defense Policy

EEAS European Union External Action

PESCO Permanent Structured Cooperation

BRIC/BRICS Brazil; Russia; India; China / South Africa

OBOR One Belt, One Road

BRI Belt and Road Initiative

CEE Central and Eastern Europe countries

CN Commonwealth of Nations

IOF International organization of the Francofonie

CPLC Community of Portuguese Language Countries

LU Latin Union

BREXIT British exit - refers to the UK leaving the EU

EEAS European External Action Service

EDA European Defence Agency

MEP Member of European parliament

DiEM 25 Democracy in Europe movement

USSR Union of Soviet Socialist Republics

CSSR Czechoslovak Socialist Republic

SFRY S ocialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia


The book 'International Relations and the European Union: Values before Power’ treats the role, status and nature of the European Union in the contemporary international relations, with special emphasis on the value corpus and potential of the European Union in relation to other actors on the global political stage. In this context, the operationalization and rationalization of the nature of the European Union, i.e. its postmodern determination and the deeply planted modern core, composed of 27 sovereign member states, is being established . The book also analyzes the institutional and political architecture of the Lisbon Treaty, especially in the area of EU ’ s Common Foreign and Security Policy, as well as the legal implications of this Treaty for the further development and transformation of the EU into a political union. Consequently, elitism and parochialism are identified as the key obstacles for further development of the European Union as a coherent and effective political union. Furthermore , the possible development perspectives of the European integration process in the future are presented, with special emphasis on the concept of an ‘a vant-garde Europe ’ .

The book also discusses the status and role of the EU in relation to the BRICS grouping and their external and internal value capacity, in the context of the contemporary international liberal order, taking into account the new global deviations, such as the rise of populism and illiberalism in Europe and the world. Immediately after that, the EU’s relations with China are analyzed, taking into account the Chinese ‘project of the century’, embodied in the ‘Belt and Road Initiative’, considered as a process of expansion of Chinese influence in the global context.

In the context of the EU’s establishment as an actor in international relations, special attention is paid to the imperial past of its member states, especially since out of 27 EU member states, 10 of them are former colonial empires. Hence, conclusions are drawn about the possibilities for deepening the cooperation between the EU member states with their former colonies (today sovereign states), but this time in the favor of the European Union global goals and interests.

Finally, the book analyzes the EU’s projections on the creation of a new, post-American international context, according to its ‘ideological baggage’ composed of the values of multilateralism, regionalism and institutional creativity, as a ‘community of values’, firmly constituted on the power of law, instead of on the right of force.

Keywords: Values; European Union; European Integration; Institutions; International Relations; Avant-garde Europe ; Democratic Deficit; Elitism; Parochialism; Federalism; BRICS; China; CFSP; CSDP; Neofunctionalism; USA; Belt and Road Initiative; Civilization-State; Nation-State; New World Order; Multilateralism; Regionalism


The European Union is currently going through a period of turbulence, which is related to the internal problems of this organization and the challenges arising from global processes. At the beginning of the 1990s, the Union consolidated its internal market and promoted the construction of a strong and federalized Europe, aspiring to the role of that of the most important global power. A structure built on the foundations of democracy, the rule of law, respect for human rights, solidarity and the principles of a free market, was associated withan ‘oasis’ of peace, stability and economic prosperity in the surrounding world. These features meant that membership of the European Union became the main goal of most European countries. As for the EU itself, the possibility of enlargement represented a stabilization of its environment, a gradual dismantling of potential threats, an expansion of markets and the building of a strong global position. Taking into consideration the economic, political, demographic and territorial potential, the European Union had and still has superpower attributes.

However, this good run of the EU ended at the beginning of the second decade of the XXI century. After the accession of new 13 countries, the European Union experienced a period of so-called enlargement fatigue. Then came the financial crisis in the euro area, which undermined the foundations of European integration and contributed to the weakening of the role and position of the European Union on the international stage. Another element threatening the European Union was the migration and refugee crisis of 2015, which caused further divisions among EU members and had a destabilizing effect on the Schengen area. The result of these crises was the United Kingdom’s decision in 2016 to leave this organization. In addition, the environment of the European Union has become extremely unstable, as evidenced by the expansionary policy of Russia and the annexation of Crimea in 2014, as well as the highly unstable situation on the EU's southeast flank, i.e. in the Middle East. If that was not enough, in 2017 Donald Trump became the President of the United States, whose policy has undermined the credibility of the transatlantic alliance. In addition, powers such as China and Russia are strengthening internationally which, based on the principles of illiberal democracy, or rather authoritarianism, poses a challenge to the democratic values spread by the European Union. In the EU itself, we could observe a wave of populism and nationalism and the erosion of the rule of law. Overlapping crises cause waves of frustration among the societies of European countries, which are accompanied by mutual accusations of egotism and lacks of solidarity. Undoubtedly, the European Union is at a crossroads and faces great challenges related to external processes and internal problems.

Professor Goran Ilik is an excellent observer and analyst of these processes. In fact, the motto of his book should be: European Union Quo Vadis ? His observations and conclusions contained in this publication skilfully diagnose the state of the European Union. It should be emphasized that this diagnosis is related both to the theoretical dimension and real possibilities of building the international position of the European Union. In the theoretical dimension, the author rightly relates the problems of the EU to the discourse of two concepts: postmodernism vs. modernism. He points out that Member States have decided to choose a model of post-nationalism and have assigned a wide range of their souvereignty to the institutions of the European Union, becoming pioneers of this type of solution in the modern world.

The author, with clinical precision, analyses the institutional solutions contained in the Lisbon Treaty, demonstrating the strengths and weaknesses of the EU's international dimension. Professor Ilik also perfectly diagnoses the main sins of this organization related to its elitism, parochialism and ignorance of the strongest Member States towards their smaller partners. In real terms, Professor Ilik recognizes the challenges facing the democratic and liberal EU versus illiberal and authoritarian powers such as China and Russia, and the BRICS group. He raises the question of who will win this competition internationally - the European Union using its soft power or the emerging powers resorting to strength and pressure? As the author indicates, undoubtedly the biggest challenge for the EU remains China encroaching on the closest neighbourhood of this organization (ex. 17+1). This will result in a specific clash of civilizations in the immediate vicinity of the EU.

The author undertakes a discussion on the creation of a new global, post-American order in which the European Union has a chance to build its own strong position. However, taking part in shaping the new international system, the EU must skillfully balance between its ideological aspirations and pragmatic methods of achieving influence and success.

In his book, Goran Ilik proves that he is not only an excellent observer and analyst. He is also a visionary and Eurorealist, whose intention is to present possible directions for the further development of the European Union. This works will be of much value to students and scholars who are rediscovering the European Union and seeking answers about its future.

Artur Adamczyk, PhD

The Centre for Europe , University of Warsaw 30 April 2020, Warsaw (Poland)


This book addresses the European Union in international relations, especially in terms of its nature as a postmodern and post-national entity with a strong value impulse and international preferences as a distinctive global actor. The book is organized in seven chapters in which the EU is treated from a different perspective, in order to ultimately shape the overall picture of the EU in international relations and to identify the challenges of the new international context.

First, the book challenges two diametrically opposite concepts - postmodernism vs. modernism - aiming to extract the key features of the EU postmodern discourse and to confirm its evident incompatibility with the modern reasoning typical for the nation-states. Based on that, the EU operates in a postmodern world, beyond the nation-state limits, as a post-national structure. Through the post-national networking, the nation-states are transformed into member states, taking into account the fact that they surrender a part of their sovereignty to the post-national structure in particular sectors. Hence, the EU is treated as a role model of a direct type of post-nationalism, established directly by the nation-states (subsequently EU member states) through their post-national networking and shared sovereignty in favor of the EU as an ultimate post-national structure.

Тhen, this book analyzes the Lisbon Treaty as the last implemented constitutive treaty of the EU. Its normative and political intention arises from the necessity to consolidate the democratic deficit and the crisis of the EU’s (international) political identity, after the failure of the Treaty to establish a Constitution for Europe. This situation opened many questions concerning how the European Union will be further developed and whether it will be able to constitute itself as a political union (federation in particular) with an international political identity as a global actor. The Lisbon Treaty makes a political effort to integrate the European foreign policy capacities, followed by installation of a President of the European Council and a High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy. This Treaty also constitutes the single legal personality of the EU which differs for the EU on the international political scene in relation to others. With the integration of the EU’s foreign policy capacities and the fusion of the (former) three pillars, the Lisbon Treaty makes some sort of rationalization of the institutions in terms of providing efficient and simplified decision-making, suitable for implementing a coherent foreign policy. Thus, considering the prerogatives and credentials of aforementioned institutions, regarding their contribution to the international political identity of the EU and its decision-making, the author concludes that the Lisbon Treaty does not represent a finalité politique of the EU integration process, but just a step towards its achievement.

Also, this book argues about the elitism, parochialism and avant-garde Europe. In that sense, the elitism is located in the democratic deficit of the EU, the ignorant attitude of the powerful EU member states and their manipulation with the EU in favor of theirs parochial interests. Hence, it can be concluded that the EU must be redefined, and not just reformed. The changes can be made in two directions. The first one assumes that the Lisbon Treaty can be used as a (continual) legal basis for creating an additional treaty that would update and specify the rules and procedures under which the participating EU member states would decide to cooperate together within the CFSP. At the same time, the second direction assumes that both the EU and the member states must start to consider creating a new treaty, which will provide a basis for future EU development in a truly postmodern direction. This new treaty will need to ‘revolutionize’ the EU, in sense of transformation of its current modern core into a postmodern one, while respecting its founding values and its post-national and postmodern attributes. The new treaty will need to change the existing structure of the EU in a radical way. It means that the most capable and the most interested member states will have the right to institutionalize an avant-garde (core) group of member states, based on federal (postmodern and post-national) premises. On the other hand, the other EU member states that do not want, or are not capable to involve themselves deeper in the European integration, will have the right to form an association based on intergovernmental premises. Certainly, they will have the right to join the avant-garde as soon as they are ready or are willing to do that. In this way, the EU will finally become capable to set up and articulate a coherent foreign policy without being hostage of the national (-ist) instincts of its member states. This variant of the EU future maybe looks complex, but it is reasonable, especially when taking into account the huge (internal and external) differences which exist between the EU member states, their attitudes towards the future of European integration, and their willingness to invest themselves in the great European design.

Furthermore, the book also argues and about the challenges of liberal democracy in the new international context, provoked by the emergence of new great powers (Russia and China), and especially the establishment of the BRICS grouping on the global stage. Especially is stressed the liberal axiological set of the EU as a postmodern entity, with typical soft power in the international relations. The EU soft power stems from its axiological set, totally composed of liberal democratic values. The new international context is characterized by the establishment of liberal and illiberal actors. The IR theorists treated both the USA and the EU as main represents of the liberal democracy, whilst Russia and China as illiberal democracies, or simply, autocracies. This book summarizes the forthcoming challenges of the liberal democracy in the new international context, as well as the place, role, and significance of the EU (with all its virtues and drawbacks) in its mission to safeguard and advance the liberal democratic values.

Further in the text, attempts are being made to explain the phenomenon of EU coherence, taking into account the ‘peaceful rise’ of China as a ‘mysterious actor’ with all its specificities of a civilization-state. Special attention is paid to the ‘grand strategy’ of China as a ‘going-out’ strategy, stemming directly from the new doctrine of its president Xi Jinping. This new strategy of Xi is especially highlighted through the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) as the biggest project of the century and its 17+1 framework. The analysis of this hegemonic and expansionist strategy of China seeks to identify the instruments of action. The direct investments of China in countries around the world appear as neo-functionalist instruments for expansion of its political influence. Europe and the EU are particularly susceptible to Chinese investment because of the European countries’ interest in fast and cost-effective loans, as well as the evident disunity when it comes to key and strategic issues. Also, this book presents the EU’s ‘protective shield’ and its types, at the same time intending to warn of the dangers that Europe is facing from China, as well as to recall the core values and interests that shaped the European Union.

In parallel, this book argues about the international political power of the European Union, viewed through the colonial legacy of its member states. The main intention is to reveal the EU power of legacy, stressing that the EU has a capacity to impose its value and ideational framework on the rest of the world, in a soft, normative, and cooperative manner. Through the process of colonization in the past, the former colonialist European states (today EU member states) influenced the people and cultures of colonized territories and thus set the basis for their second coming - this time not in the role of conquerors or colonizers, but as partners. The term legacy is used to describe the capital (institutional, political, cultural, linguistic etc.) that was left by the former colonialist European states in the past, which today can be used as a bridge for closer cooperation between the former colonies (today sovereign states) and the EU as a whole.

And finally, this book treats the image of the new world order, projected through the ideological lenses of the EU based on regionalist, cooperative and multilateral premises, generated directly from the EU’s ideological (axilological) preferences.

Chapter 1


“Only the people can change and enrich things in the institutions and transmit them to future generations”

Jean Monnet he Special Advisor at the European Commission and the author of ‘The Breaking of Nations’, Robert Cooper, acknowledged: “what is called ‘modern’ is not so because it is something new – it is in fact very old fashioned – but because it is linked to that great engine of modernization, the nation-state” (Van Damme 2008, 2). The European Union is not a nation-state, and therefore cannot be treated as a modern structure. Contrary to that, the EU is “the best example of a postmodern space” (Grajauskas and Kasčiūnas 2009, 4).

As per author Robert Cooper, several factors characterized the postmodernity and thus the postmodern world: 1) The breaking down of the distinction between domestic and foreign affairs; 2) Mutual interference in (traditional) domestic affairs and mutual surveillance; 3) The rejection of force for resolving disputes and the consequent; 4) Codification of rules of behavior. These rules are self-enforced; and 5) Changes of borders are both less necessary and less important; security is based on transparency, mutual openness, interdependence, and mutual vulnerability (Cooper 2000, 22).

The postmodern state is one that is “more pluralist, more complex, and less centralized than the bureaucratic modern state” (Grajauskas and Kasčiūnas 2009, 5). The postmodern foreign policy means clearing with the features of modernity, such as the nation-state, souvereignty, centralization, the use of force etc. (Table 1).

Table 1: ‘Modern and Postmodern Foreign Policy’ (Source: Grajauskas and Kasčiūnas, 2009).

Abbildung in dieser Leseprobe nicht enthalten

The EU operates in a postmodern world, beyond the nation-state limits, as a postnational structure. The postnationalism should be treated as a process that complements and supplements the nation-states performances, based upon the principles of mutual understanding, mutual openness and networking, oriented towards achieving the transcendental objectives, and thus, transcending the nation-states limits . The postnational structure represents “a new mode of integration [based on] cosmopolitan solidarity” (Habermas 2001, 57). Through the postnational networking, the nation-states are transformed into member states, taking into account the fact that they surrender (pool or delegate) a part of their souvereignty to the postnational structure, in particular sectors. The EU can be treated as a role model of a direct type of postnationalism, established directly by the nation–states (subsequently EU member states) through their postnational networking and shared souvereignty in favor of the EU as an ultimate postnational structure (Figure 1).

Abbildung in dieser Leseprobe nicht enthalten

Figure 1: Direct postnationalism (Source: Ilik 2013, 291).

The postmodern (and postnational) states are “generally striving to establish a post-Westphalian order where state souvereignty is constrained through legal developments beyond the nation-state” (Sjursen 2007, 2). In a post-Westphalian order, “foreign policy transcends the state-centric view of international relations” (Keukeleire and MacNaughtan 2008, 20). As a result, the affirmation of norms and values is becoming equally important as the affirmation of national interests. The foreign policy in the Westphalian (modern) age “is characterized by states as the main actors, by a clear distinction between foreign and domestic politics, by the protection of souvereignty, and by the pursuit of national interest, power, and raison d’état” (Grajauskas and Kasčiūnas 2009, 4).

Unlike the modern (Westphalian) concept of national interests (raison d’état), I can define the EU postnational interests as value interests (raison de valeur) (Ilik 2012, 160), derived from the values stipulated in its constitutive treaties. Contrary to the postmodern attributes, the EU at the same time represents a community of sovereign, independent nation-states, because it is composed of 27 member states (after the BREXIT), which, through the process of postnational integration, voluntarily decided to pool their souvereignty. Pooling souvereignty means: “in practice, that the member states delegate some of their decision-making powers to the shared institutions they have created, so that decisions on specific matters of joint interest can be made democratically at European level” (How the EU works 2013, 3). However, the pooling of member states’ souvereignty does not apply to all areas. Namely, in the areas of the Common Foreign and Security Policy (CFSP) and the Enlargement policy, decision-making is still based on the intergovernmental premises, requiring unanimous vote of the EU member states in the European Council. Or as stipulated in the Article 10 B (1) of the Lisbon Treaty (2008):

Decisions of the European Council on the strategic interests and objectives of the Union shall relate to the common foreign and security policy and to other areas of the external action of the Union (…) The European Council shall act unanimously on a recommendation from the Council, adopted by the latter under the arrangements laid down for each area.

Concerning the enlargement policy, in order to join the EU, the applicant (candidate) country needs to gain a unanimous vote in the European Council, or as stated in the Article 49 (Title VI) of the Lisbon Treaty: “the applicant state shall address its application to the Council, which shall act unanimously after consulting the Commission and after receiving the consent of the European Parliament” (The Lisbon Treaty 2008). On this basis, it can be concluded that the vital, strategic issues of the EU are still ‘in the hands’ of the EU member states (nation-states), witnessing for their undisputable national souvereignty and priority of their national interests over the EU postnational interests and objectives. Evidently, this situation is ordinary modern, considering that the modernity exalts the nation-state and its ontological superiority. The modernity as a theory typically refers to a “post-traditional, post-medieval historical period, one marked by the move from feudalism (or agrarianism) toward capitalism, industrialization, secularization, rationalization, the nation-state and its constituent institutions and forms of surveillance” (Barker 2005, 444). Or as the theorist Anthony Giddens stressed: “[modernity] is associated with a certain range of political institutions, including the nation-state and mass democracy” (1998, 94). Many theorists of modernity “focus upon the development of the nation-state system (…) the nation-state system has long participated in that reflexivity characteristic of modernity as a whole” (Giddens 1990, 65-72). The modernity is characteristic for Westphalian international order, established with the Peace of Westphalia in 1648. The series of peace treaties, “which ended the Thirty Years War, attenuated the sway of the Holy Roman Empire over subsidiary domains that were roughly unified by shared language and culture while separated by borders approximating those on the map today.

The term scholars later assigned to these autonomous territories was ‘nation-states’” (Talbott 2014). The Westphalian order brought “nationalism to the surface (…) Westphalia also perpetrated the fallacy of absolute national souvereignty” (Talbott 2014).

The author Mohammed A. Bamyeh stresses that European nationalism “had taught the world that nationalism must be embodied in the state and that each state should ideally stand for a distinct nation in the world” (2001, 3). Under the pressure of globalization “the nation-states’ souvereignty was seriously intruded” (Bamyeh 2001, 3). In this sense, the nation-states started - intentionally or unintentionally - to transmit their sovereign prerogatives to newly established global structures (e.g. UN, NATO etc.) in order to preserve their existence and achieve a higher, transcendental objectives. This situation caused reflections about the possible new models of a nation–state (understood in modern terms as a ‘heroic state’) by challenging its meaning and its role in the contemporary global processes.

As far as the EU is concerned, it can be concluded that the EU is ‘stretched’ between the modern and the postmodern discourse. In this sense, I can identify two crucial problems that prevent full flourishing of the EU in a postmodern and postnational sense: the full souvereignty of the EU member states (nation-states) and the principle of unanimity. Figure 2. presents the EU in three layers where the member states appear as a modern core, substantially inconsistent with the EU postmodern discourse, and the principle of unanimity, which appears as a key decision-making obstacle, preventing the EU to formulate coherent foreign policy and therefore achieve its own postnational interest and objectives. Under the EU postmodern framework, the question of coherence appears as a crucial factor for achievement of the EU postnational interests.

Abbildung in dieser Leseprobe nicht enthalten

Figure 2: EU in three layers (Source: own depiction, referring to data collected from the analysis of the EU’s postmodern nature).

Today, the question of coherence within the CFSP and the Enlargement policy is still based on the modern premises (respecting the souvereignty of the EU member states) and predominantly conditioned by “consultation and co – operation” (Aggestam 1999) and ‘bargaining’ between the EU member states. The EU leaders must start to encourage (through political and legal instruments) the member states to begin to behave as a coherent organism, determined to achieve EU’s postnational interests and objectives while setting aside their national interests. While the enlargement policy of the EU appears as the most important investment in the historical idea of European unification, and as such, must not allow it to be a subject of nationalist settlements between the EU member states.

Chapter 2


“This text is, in fact, a rerun of a great part of the substance of the constitutional treaty”

Valéry Giscard d'Estaing he Lisbon Treaty is the last implemented constitutive treaty of the European Union. Its normative and political intention arises from the necessity to consolidate the democratic deficit and the crisis of the EU’s identity as a global actor after the failure of the Treaty establishing a Constitution for Europe. This situation opened many questions concerning how the European Union will be further developed and whether it will be able to be constituted as a political union (federation in particular) with an identity of a global actor. The Lisbon Treaty appears as a ‘new chance’ and a ‘last option’ for the embodiment of the EU in a political union, of course through its quasi-federalist intentions. The Treaty in its essence represents a quasi-federal act because of its confusing, complex, and vague content, and also its partly constitutional determination, which is demonstrated through a ‘compromises’ with the protagonists and the opponents of the European federalism, seeking to satisfy both sides and thus be constituted as a distinctive type of federalism without a federation.

Through its effectuation, the Union has grown into some kind of а primordial sui generis political actor, with more confederate and less federal nature. This chapter aims to explore the Lisbon Treaty stipulations within the ​​Common Foreign and Security Policy, and the Treaty’s capacity for establishing the EU’s identity as a global actor. The main intention is to determine whether the provisions of the Lisbon Treaty within the CFSP are finalité politique or just a step towards establishing the EU’s identity as a global actor. The difficulties of defining the international political identity of the European Union come not only from the complexity of its specific nature, but also from the complexity and specificity of this term.

The identity in general implies the existence of autonomy, distinctiveness, and divergence of one political entity in relation to another or other homogenous and heterogeneous political entities (actors). The theorist Heinrich Schneider argues that “anyone in search of her or his identity will pose the question: ‘Who am I?’ With regard to collective identity the questions are: ‘Who are we? Where do we come? Where do we go? What do we expect? What will expect us?’ But these questions really serve to clarify another, more fundamental one: Why and how can we (or must we) talk in the first person plural?” (Jansen 1999, 34). He also stressed that “there are two common answers; one of them sounds as follows: ‘Because we want it that way!’ The other one refers to certain things that we have in common: a common history, common views about our present situation, common projects for our future and the tasks that are facing us there (…) Collective identity as well needs the distinction between ‘Us’ and ‘Them” (Jansen 1999, 34). In the interest of further defining the notion of (international political) identity, Schneider also presents the fundamental elements of an international political identity as follows:

1. the ‘spiritual ties’ as they are manifested in a common ‘world of meanings’ (a ‘universe of symbols and relevancies’), as they allow to achieve a consensual ‘definition of the situation’, and including the three dimensions of a shared ‘today, ‘past’, and ‘future’;
2. the ‘delimitation’, knowing what is special about ‘our thing’ as compared to other people's things (‘ nostra res agitur’ - not some ‘ res alienorum’), and
3. the ability to act and bear responsibility through authorization and thus institutionalization (which consequently means, polity building) (Jansen 1999, 34).

The politics of identity refers to a set of ideas and values ​​in one political community, used to induce a state of cohesion and solidarity as precondition for building a political / international political identity. Concerning the Union, its role in the “international system has always been a central part of the European integration process and continuous efforts have been made to enhance the effectiveness and efficiency of the Union’s external action” (Wessels and Bopp 2008, 1), directed towards the establishment of the EU’s identity as a global actor. Hence, “the provisions for CFSP and, increasingly also the Common Security and Defence Policy (CSDP), can be regarded as the cornerstone of the Lisbon Treaty” (Wessels and Bopp 2008). On that basis it can be concluded that the identity is not something static or fixed once and for all given, but it represents a dynamic process of (self) recognition, differentiation, and establishment of recognizable image of one political community, and therefore an emanation of a certain image (impression) in the environment that surrounds the respective political community. In that sense, the (international) political identity is a continuous process of maturation, construction and constitution of the basic parameters for (self) identification of a certain political community, in the objective reality.

The politics of identity refers to a set of ideas and values ​​in one political community, which are used to mobilize and induce a state of cohesion and solidarity in the interest of identification of its international political profile. In this interest, the British politician Malcolm Rifkind will add: “consultation and cooperation [within the EU] are now instinctive (…) Thus, the foreign policy cooperation between EU member states could be interpreted as the beginnings of a learning process where the actors involved increasingly perceive themselves as a ‘We’” (Aggestam 1999). In addition, Rifkind says: “Europe does not yet have the single coherent world vision, the deep - rooted instincts of a national foreign policy. That is not to the discredit of the EU. But it is one more reason why we should see [ CFSP ] as a complement to our national foreign policies, an increasingly robust complement, but not a replacement” (Aggestam 1999).

Consequently, the sincere intention that should be constantly conveyed in favor of the implementation of the EU CFSP means greater contribution by the member states in the further building of its international political identity and the provision of an adequate functional capacity, in favor of its foreign political activities.

A more precise definition of the international political identity of the EU, is given by Prof. Radovan Vukadinovic (with Prof. Lidija Cehulic) in ‘The Politics of the European Integration’: “the international political identity of [the EU is] a set of governmental policies that politically harmonized by the member states, create international political position of the [EU] or its international political identity in the role of a distinctive and unique international political entity on the global political scene” (Vukadinovic and Cehulic 2005, 118). This definition significantly connects the EU’s international political identity with the role of the EU on the international political scene as an actor. Prof. Vukadinovic projects the actorness of the EU through its international activity rather than its institutional appearance. Hence, the EU actorness can be treated as a synonym of autonomy, originality and uniqueness of the EU as a specific actor, able to act independently and equally in relations with other actors on the global stage. Based on this, and by recognizing the permanent attempt for defining the EU as an actor in the international relations, the question of essence assumes the necessity of its constituting in the form of state or another kind of political union . If the EU would constitute itself as a state, then we may speak about the centralization (supranationalization) of its powers and competencies and thus its identification as a global actor in a realist1 (realpolitik) sense. But if the EU stayed in the current state of so-called ‘evolutionary stagnation’ as an intergovernmental community sui generis, it would mean maintaining the condition that produces only a friendly and functional (predominantly economic) regulation of the relations between its member states, accompanied with disharmonic and incoherent actions regarding the international relations, the building of a monolithic international political identity of the EU is not possible. In this regard, Prof. Vukadinovic stressed that:

Many theorists once spoke that the economic [dimension] of the [EU] completely overshadowed the political one, and from the foreign policy there is no trace. Others resigned claiming that by failing to create a federation of the West European countries, the concept of a European political union will be permanently abandoned as a failed attempt and unrealized idea for ​​creating a European federation (Vukadinovic and Cehulic 2005, 125).

The Union is mainly treated as intergovernmental system or a “system for regulation of certain interstate shares on certain field, without the possibility of constituting its own unique international political capacity, power, and identity” (Bretherton and Vogler 1999, 83). The fundamental difference that exists between the EU as an intergovernmental organization sui generis, as opposed to other forms of international organizing and structuring, consists precisely in the state-building tendency. In that sense, Prof. Christopher Hill (2011) presents four basic elements that differentiate the EU from the international organizations as follows: 1) the state-building imperative; 2) the pressure for institutional reform; 3) issues of democracy and accountability; and 4) the power-building imperative in international relations (p. 3).

The theorists Charlotte Bretherton and John Vogler provide the following four basic premises of actorness:

1. Shared commitment to a set of overarching values;
2. Domestic legitimation of decision processes and priorities relating to external policy;
3. The ability to identify priorities and formulate policies – captured by the concepts of consistency and coherency, where:

a. Consistency indicates the degree of congruence between the external policies of the member states and the EU;
b. Coherence refers to the level of internal coordination of EU policies; and

4. The availability of and the capacity to utilize policy instruments – diplomacy, negotiation, economic tools and military means (Bretherton and Vogler 1999, 30).

In that context, it is very important to emphasize that the Lisbon Treaty already prescribed the value (axiological) framework of the EU, which requires the Union and the member states to affirm and respect its values. Starting from that, the axiological framework of the European Union generally encompasses freedom, democracy, respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms, and the rule of law. The Article 21 of the Lisbon Treaty (2010) proclaims that:

The Union’s action on the international scene shall be guided by the principles which have inspired its own creation, development and enlargement, and which it seeks to advance in the wider world: democracy, the rule of law, the universality and indivisibility of human rights and fundamental freedoms, respect for human dignity, the principles of equality and solidarity, and respect for the principles of the United Nations Charter and international law (p. 28).

Through the promotion of these values, the Union determines its course in the direction of developing and building partnerships with third countries and other international, regional or global organizations. The EU therefore initiates itself as a major promoter of multilateralism, naturally in accordance with the principles of international justice within the historical process of promotion, prevention and protection of the fundamental values ​​ of humanity, such as democracy, human rights and freedom, human dignity, and global peace.

The European Union - in accordance with Article 21(2) of the Lisbon Treaty (2010) - also draws its missionary and proactive international role in order to:

(a) safeguard its values, fundamental interests, security, independence, and integrity; (b) consolidate and support democracy, the rule of law, human rights, and the principles of international law; (c) preserve peace, prevent conflicts and strengthen international security in accordance with the purposes and principles of the United Nations Charter (…) promote an international system based on stronger multilateral cooperation and good global governance.

Despite the EU’s axiological (value) framework, coherence appears as a key issue regarding the establishment of international political identity and thus the capacity of actorness. The theorists Joseph Jupille and James A. Caporaso claim that coherence determines whether or not an entity is an actor, because“[t]o be an actor implies a minimal level of cohesion” (Keisala 2004, 84). In that context, it must be emphasized that only the states and other forms of political unions similar to them naturally possess the coherence understood in stricto sensu. Based on this view, the EU actorness is quite problematic to define, as the EU often (incoherently) reflects the political views of its member states, thus sometimes appearing as an international organization, and other times as a state. In order to define the phenomenon of cohesion more accurately the theorists Joseph Jupille and James A. Caporaso noted four different dimensions.

The first dimension is ‘value cohesion’, which owns inclusive and integrative function, and which “refers to the similarity and compatibility of basic goals” (Keisala 2004, 84). As the second dimension, Jupille and Caporaso noted ‘tactical cohesion’, which appears in conditions of disharmonious political views of the member states within the EU “if goals are different but can be made to fit one another” (Keisala 2004). The third dimension is ‘procedural cohesion’, which “implies some consensus on rules and procedures used to process those issues where conflict arises and, thus, agreement on basic rules by which policies are made” (Keisala 2004). The fourth dimension is ‘output cohesion’, which refers to the situation where the member states of the EU succeed in formulating policies regardless of the level of substantive or procedural agreement (Keisala 2004).

The latter dimension directly implies the ability to articulate foreign policy which is to provide a unique appearance in the international relations of the particular entity - the EU in this case. Similarly, the significance of this dimension emphasizes the inability of the EU to achieve consistent articulation of a single foreign policy, because of the different political views and preferences of its member states in certain situations and under certain circumstances.

Also, I can conclude another dimension of coherence, namely the ‘coherence of preferences’ directly connected with the ability of the EU (and the member states) to establish a single foreign policy based on setting up transcendental goals and objectives. This dimension refers to where, when and how to act, primarily taking into account the EU’s interests as a whole. In that context, the EU leaders must work together in order “to increase [the EU] cohesiveness (...) [And thus to] provide the EU with a distinctive [international political] identity” (Grajauskas 2011). In that favour, the Lisbon Treaty installed the President of the European Council and the High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy (the ‘High Representative’) in order to provide a minimum opportunity for enhancing the coherence, and thus invest in the building of the EU’s international political identity. Both institutions need to synchronize the member states’ political views in order to bring them in line with the interests and the views of the European Union as a whole.

As in the previous treaties, the Lisbon Treaty stresses the mutual commitment of the member states to support the EU’s foreign and security policy “actively and unreservedly in a spirit of loyalty and mutual solidarity” and to “refrain from any action which is contrary to the interests of the Union or likely to impair its effectiveness (...) specifying the general assurance of mutual cooperation and fulfilment of treaty obligations” (Wessels and Bopp 2008, 12). With the implementation of the Lisbon Treaty the EU obliged itself to become more democratic and transparent, more efficient, and more just (taking into account rights and values, freedom, solidarity and security) and to establish itself as an actor on the global stage. The Lisbon Treaty provides the following institutional and political innovations:

1. A new President of the European Council with fixed mandate, projected to maintain the political stability and continuity of the EU;
2. A new High Representative for the Union in Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Vice-President of the Commission will increase the impact, coherence and visibility of the EU's external action;
3. A new European External Action Service will provide back up and support to the High Representative;
4. A single legal personality for the Union will strengthen the Union's negotiating power, making it more effective on the world stage and a more visible partner for third countries and international organisations; and
5. Progress in European Security and Defence Policy will preserve special decision-making arrangements but also pave the way towards reinforced cooperation amongst a smaller group of member states (The Treaty at a glance 2009).

By installing the institution of the ‘President of the European Council’, a fixed independent and individual body with a mandate of at least two and a half years and representative prerogatives in conducting the foreign policy have been finally institutionalized. This institution has extraordinary significance for the foreign policy and the representation of the EU in international relations. Regarding that, the European Council (EC) aims to “identify the Union’s strategic interests, determine the objectives of and define general guidelines for the common foreign and security policy, including matters with defence implications” (The Lisbon Treaty 2010, 32). The Article 15(5) of the Lisbon Treaty stipulates that: “the European Council shall elect its President, by a qualified majority, for a term of two and a half years, renewable once. In the event of an impediment or serious misconduct, the European Council can end the President’s term of office in accordance with the same procedure” (The Lisbon Treaty 2010, 23). In that regard, the President of the European Council:

1. shall chair the European Council and drive forward its work;
2. shall ensure the preparation and continuity of the work of the European Council in cooperation with the President of the Commission, and on the basis of the work of the General Affairs Council;
3. shall endeavour to facilitate cohesion and consensus within the European Council;
4. shall present a report to the European Parliament after each of the meetings of the European Council (The Lisbon Treaty 2010).

The functioning of this institution aims at providing not only a harmonious and coordinated definition of the strategic and general political guidelines of the EU, but also aims at stimulating effectuation of a coherent and representative implementation of common international political activities within the EU. In that context, there are two diametrically opposed viewpoints, where the first one treats the President of the European Council as an institution with its coordinating and representative functions, while the other treats him/her as a strong representative of the Union in international relations, in the role of a ‘President of Europe’. The latter viewpoint is particularly characteristic of European federalists and their efforts to transform the EU into a democratic federation. In addition, the President of the European Council is responsible for submitting a regular report of his work to the European Parliament and for consulting with the President of the European Commission. The necessity for cooperation with the President of Commission is anticipated because the European Commission is obliged by Article 17(1) to “promote the general interest of the Union and take appropriate initiatives to that end” (The Lisbon Treaty 2010, 25). This inter-institutional cooperation emerges as an inherent consequence of the need for a coherent, consistent and organized action within the CFSP framework. In addition, Article 15(6) stipulates that the President of the European Council “shall, at his level and in that capacity, ensure the external representation of the Union on issues concerning its common foreign and security policy, without prejudice to the powers of the High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy” (The Lisbon Treaty 2010, 23).

According to the Treaty, the High Representative is in charge of organizing and coordinating the work of the Union as regards the CFSP and representing the Union in international relations. This institution is created by fusion of the previous institutions: European Commissioner for External Relations and Neighbourhood Policy and High Representative for Foreign and Security Policy of the EU. The purpose of this fusion and rationalization is the fulfilment of the institutional-political conditions for creating an effective EU Ministry of Foreign Affairs and a single common representation of the EU in international relations. Otherwise, what can be said for this institution is that it is a nominally reformed counterpart of the former Minister for Foreign Affairs of the EU, provided by the ‘failed’ European Constitution. In this respect, the European Council, “acting by a qualified majority, with the agreement of the President of the Commission, shall appoint the High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy” as stated in Article 18(1) of the Lisbon Treaty (2010). The significance of this institution is tremendous because the High Representative of the Union is also responsible for conducting the CFSP as well as the Common Security and Defence Policy. Also, the Treaty has fused the function of the High Representative and that of the Commissioner for External Relations.

A solid and monolithic coordination and organization of the international political activities of the Union is to be provided through this fusion of institutions and functions. In that context, the High Representative is predicted to preside with the Foreign Affairs Council, and also to take over the role of one of the vice-presidents of the European Commission as an institution responsible for setting the general political direction and the international political representativeness of the EU. In that respect, the High Representative is obliged to promote and ensure consensus among the member states of the Union, and at the same time to include the different political interests of the member states in creating the CFSP. With that in mind, the High Representative will need to make efforts for ensuring consistency in the international political activities of the Union, since he is the one who is responsible “within the Commission for responsibilities incumbent on it in external relations and for coordinating other aspects of the Union’s external action” (The Lisbon Treaty 2010, 27). By the effectuation of the Lisbon Treaty, the High Representative is enabled to be ‘pervasive’ in the overall work of its institutions in the field of foreign policy. Or, as provided by the Treaty (2010): “the High Representative shall conduct the Union’s common foreign and security policy. He shall contribute by his proposals to the development of that policy (...) the same shall apply to the common security and defence policy” (p. 26). The High Representative is authorized to perform a representative function, or as is stated in the Article 27(2):

The High Representative shall represent the Union for matters relating to the common foreign and security policy. He shall conduct political dialogue with third parties on the Union’s behalf and shall express the Union’s position in international organisations and at international conferences.

According to that, the High Representative is responsible both for coordinating the international political activities of the member states on the international political scene and for representing the EU in international relations. Through this provision of the Lisbon Treaty, the institution of the High Representative is even more geared towards intensifying the coherence of the Union in its international political activities. In that context, an interesting novelty stipulated in this Treaty, by which the position and the role of the High Representative have been reinforced, is the instalment of the European External Action Service (EEAS) as a kind of Ministry of Foreign Affairs. This service is intended to reinforce the functionality and efficiency of the High Representative in terms of expertise and competence in performance of tasks. It is planned to initiate the organization and the functioning of the EEAS by a decision of the European Council. It is provided for the Council to adopt such a decision, but “the Council shall act on a proposal from the High Representative after consulting the European Parliament and after obtaining the consent of the Commission” (The Lisbon Treaty 2010, 32). It is also stipulated, as per Article 27(3) that: “the [EEAS] shall work in cooperation with the diplomatic services of the member states and shall comprise officials from relevant departments of the General Secretariat of the Council and of the Commission as well as staff seconded from national diplomatic services of the member states” (The Lisbon Treaty 2010). In that context, the High Representative will coordinate the diplomatic missions of the member states of the Union and their delegations in third countries, as well as provide stimulation of the enhanced cooperation among the member states in the interest of effectuating the common international political activities on the international political scene. From the essence of the stipulated provision one can elicit the “hybrid” (CEPS et al. 2007) nature of the EEAS as semi-supranational and semi-intergovernmental agency sui generis whose more detailed organization will depend on the decision made by the Council. Together with that, the Lisbon Treaty as another innovation has established the European Defence Agency (EDA), which has an identical, hybrid nature like the EEAS.

The European Defence Agency has been established “by a joint action of the Council of Ministers for Foreign Affairs of the Union in 2004 for the first time” (Wessels and Bopp 2008, 29). According to that, it has been stipulated in Article 42(3) that this Agency is going to work in favor of “defence capabilities development, research, acquisition and armaments” (The Lisbon Treaty 2010, 38), as an area that in the future should be developed within the framework of the EU. In that context, Article 42(3) stipulates that the EDA shall identify the operational requirements of the EU, and for this purpose it shall:

Promote measures to satisfy those requirements, shall contribute to identifying and, where appropriate, implementing any measure needed to strengthen the industrial and technological base of the defence sector, shall participate in defining a European capabilities and armaments policy, and shall assist the Council in evaluating the improvement of military capabilities.

Thus, the EDA’s tasks are stipulated in the Article 45(1) of the Lisbon Treaty (2010), where it is provided that by its constitution the EDA shall have as its task to:

1. contribute to identifying the member states’ military capability objectives and evaluating observance of the capability commitments given by the member states;
2. promote harmonisation of operational needs and adoption of effective, compatible procurement methods;
3. propose multilateral projects to fulfil the objectives in terms of military capabilities, ensure coordination of the programmes implemented by the member states and management of specific cooperation programmes;
4. support defence technology research, and coordinate and plan joint research activities and the study of technical solutions meeting future operational needs;
5. contribute to identifying and, if necessary, implementing any useful measure for strengthening the industrial and technological base of the defence sector and for improving the effectiveness of military expenditure (p. 40).

Based on these provisions, efforts have been made for creating an institution that will possess the capacity to perform mobilization of the (national) military resources of the member states as well as of the EU, in case it has its own autonomous military assets. Decisions concerning the CFSP and CSDP will be made unanimously by the Council, on a proposal of the High Representative or on the initiative of a member State of the Union. According to that, efforts are made through the Lisbon Treaty for ‘imposing’ the leading role of the High Representative in this area as well, as an essential connection between the EDA and the European Council, as a basis for providing a solid and institutional communication between them. What is especially important in the security and defence area of the Union is the position and the role of the Council as an important authority and political supervisor of the work of the EDA. The EDA is planned to be an agency available to all member states that are willing to be part of it. In that context, the Council will make a decision in terms of defining its statute and the operational rules regarding its functioning by a qualified majority. Such decision must be previously based on the effectiveness of the member states participation in the activities of the Agency. For this purpose special working groups will be formed that will be responsible for enabling the joint operations of the member states as well as their effectiveness in creating the joint projects of the EU in the security and defence area. The Lisbon Treaty plans other flexible mechanisms for member states’ participation in this area. That is, the establishment of a Permanent Structured Cooperation (PESCO) as a flexible mechanism for co-opted participation of the member states in the Union area of defence, according to their military readiness to participate in such a structure. In general, “these flexibility provisions for the area of CFSP foreseen in the Lisbon Treaty are more transparent both for participating and non-participating members so that the creation” (Wessels and Bopp 2008, 27) of a “‘directoire’ of the big three” (Hill 2006, 1-7) might be avoided. The opportunities for creating a European mechanism for defence, dominated and orchestrated by the military, political and economically powerful member states of the Union will be reduced through the installation of such cooperation. According to Article 46(1) of the Lisbon Treaty (2010), it is stipulated that: those member states which wish to participate in the permanent structured cooperation [and] which fulfil the criteria and have made the commitments on military capabilities set out in the Protocol on permanent structured cooperation, shall notify their intention to the Council and to the High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy.

In this regard, the Council is going to adopt such proposals for creating the PESCO and determine a list of participating states with proactive role in the said cooperation. Within that framework, each member state willing to join the PESCO in some of its advanced phases will be obliged to inform the Council and the High Representative to that effect. Admission to the PESCO will be determined by a Council Decision, adopted by a qualified majority and consent of the High Representative of the Union. The Lisbon Treaty also regulates the right of vote of the member states within the PESCO framework.

According to Article 46(4) of the Lisbon Treaty (2010): “only members of the Council representing the participating member states, with the exception of the member state in question, shall take part in the vote” (p. 41). Similarly, the obligation of the member states, in case of a military threat from a third party, is clearly stated. In that regard, Article 42(7) stipulated that: “if a member state is the victim of armed aggression on its territory, the other member states shall have towards it an obligation of aid and assistance by all the means in their power” (The Lisbon Treaty 2010, 39). In fulfilling their obligations, the member states undertake to respect the appropriate procedure under the solidarity clause of this Treaty. The Article 43(2) states that the Council: shall adopt decisions relating to the [particular] tasks [such as peace-keeping, conflict prevention and strengthening international security in accordance with the principles of the UN Charter] defining their objectives and scope and the general conditions for their implementation. The High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, acting under the authority of the Council and in close and constant contact with the Political and Security Committee, shall ensure coordination of the civilian and military aspects of such tasks.

Those member states, in cooperation with the High Representative, will agree on the organization and the conditions for fulfilling the tasks. At the same time, the “member states participating in the task shall keep the Council regularly informed of its progress on their own initiative or at the request of another member state” (The Lisbon Treaty 2010, 40). In that direction, those member states: shall inform the Council immediately should the completion of the task entail major consequences or require amendment of the objective, scope and conditions determined for the task [such as peace-keeping, conflict prevention and strengthening international security in accordance with the principles of the United Nations Charter]. In such cases, the Council shall adopt the necessary decisions (The Lisbon Treaty 2010, 40).

Within the framework of accomplishing the aforementioned tasks, the High Representative is re-emerging again as a leading actor, following the recommendations given by the European Council. Accordingly, the High Representative has the authority to coordinate the implementation of the policies in this area. In addition to that, the identification of the legal personality of the Union has been finally made by the Lisbon Treaty, which is a step towards transforming it into a single international legal entity, with its own specifics and autonomous international political identity. It is about a quality (characteristic) that helps the Union to appear as a party at the conclusion of international treaties with third countries, and thus to collectively enter or withdraw from membership in other international organizations or structures as a single legal and political partner. In that context, the former High Representative, Javier Solana, would emphasize that “the EU’s acquisition of legal personality was ‘not a minor issue’, but that it was ‘important politically more than legally’” (Foreign Policy Aspects of the Lisbon Treaty 2008, 33).

Concerning the legal personality of the EU acquired with the Lisbon Treaty, Javier Solana also stressed that “it would be easier for third countries to understand the EU without the complication of dealing with, and sometimes signing agreements with, different entities” (Foreign Policy Aspects of the Lisbon Treaty 2008, 33). In addition, a single legal personality will enable the EU to speak and take action as a single and distinct entity on the international political scene. Therefore, the importance of the Lisbon Treaty as an initial step in the integration process of the EU can be concluded through the installation of both the institution of the President of the European Council and the institution of the High Representative, authorized to provide the external coherence and to foster solidarity within the EU.

Integration Stages

In its institutional and political development, the EU has gone through three major integration stages. Each of them is transparently shown on the integration cascade (ladder), also known as “ratchet fusion process” (Wessels and Bopp 2008, 6). Otherwise, by locating the Lisbon Treaty’s place (LT) with the European integration process in mind, I have upgraded this ‘ratchet fusion’ with a dashed arrow, as presented in Figure 3. Stages shown on this integration cascade are directly derived from the legitimization basis of the EU, which covers the constitutive treaties that condition its foundation and its institutional and political development. Taking into account the ‘ratchet fusion process’, this would mean that the CFSP stipulations of the Lisbon Treaty have provided for:

A major step upward towards the ‘next plateau’ of an ‘integration ladder’, representing a gradual move towards a system with clear supranational elements. This would also mean that the often-claimed coherence of the Union’s external action and its capability to act have been enhanced towards a stronger and more coherent global actor with a strengthened identity in the international system and more capabilities to act while internal efficiency and transparency have been enhanced (Wessels and Bopp 2008, 4).

Abbildung in dieser Leseprobe nicht enthalten

Figure 3: Ratchet fusion ( Source: Wessels and Bopp 2008, 6).

The first stage (plateau I) covers the primordial political integration of the EU member states (previously the European Communities) as a basis for creating coherence in their political activities, for the purpose of defining and establishing the European international political identity. This stage, generated by initiating and formalizing the European political cooperation (starting with the report from Luxembourg, to the Single European Act), undoubtedly leads to certain progress in terms of political communication and closer political cooperation among the EU member states. The significance of such political cooperation effectuates a relatively flexible, non-obligatory and voluntary ‘system’ of interstate decision-making in the sphere of foreign policy and the ability of the European Communities / the European Union regarding a coherent creation of international political actions. Consequently, the development of the ‘initial awareness’ of the member states for the importance and the necessity of intensive political communication concerning the questions from the international political area can be seen as the greatest benefit of this stage. Moreover, all of that was aimed toward Europe’s starting to speak in one voice, instead of speaking in a choir of voices, as was stipulated in the Declaration for European Identity and the Luxemburg Report.


1 According to the political realism, only the states represent political entities that are considered major, basic, and fundamental actors in the international relations. In accordance with that, the European Union - starting from its atypical sui generis nature - could not be treated in the context of realism as a classical political actor, because it does not possess the elementary properties, capabilities, and attributes of a state, and therefore its political status as completed and identified political actor on the international political scene in the framework of this doctrine cannot be recognized. From this approach, stems the minimalist definition of the EU that it is defined as a supranational and intergovernmental union in the absence of statehood and political ability or lack of essential features and requirements to be established and constitute itself in the form of state. Therefore, because of the lack of statehood capacity, it is classified within the group of atypical political actors / as an atypical political actor positioned outside the circle of relevant actors in the international relations. However, the realism recognizes and respects the importance of the international organizations and other actors identical to them, but treats them as secondary in terms of autonomous, sovereign and independent states, as basic and leading actors on the international political scene, as fundamentally important element of the actorness, stands, and military defense capacity, as a secondary but no less important condition for identifying a relevant and complete political entity. By this question, the theorist Breterton (1999, 83) will say that “without the formation of European defense and military capacity, while independent of the military and political power of the United States”, the EU will not be able to remain an independent and autonomous global actor profiled on the global stage as a separate and complete political entity. From this thesis the substance of the Gaulist doctrine is seen as well, as a doctrine opposed to the United States (US) influence in the process of European unification, transferred through the NATO as suitable medium for the practicing of the US political influence on the overall Euro-integration processes. The essence of this doctrine rests precisely on the attitudes, statements and commitments of the Charles de Gaulle, in the ‘struggle’ against the Atlantism as a ‘Trojan horse’ of the American ‘hegemony’ over the Europe. Atlantism as such, assumes a priori military and political influence of the United States and its loyal ally Britain through the NATO on overall Euro - integration processes, starting from the end of the Second World War, during the Cold War and the period afterwards. In this respect, as a protest against such “negative trend that usurps the souvereignty and determination of the community of the European states and peoples” (Mauriac 1996, 192) on one occasion, Charles de Gaulle emphasized: “I think that Europe should defend itself in Europe and with consideration of geography, history and psychology, Europe cannot be defended in London (...)” (Mauriac 1996, 192). This stance suggests the necessity for formulation of the basic preconditions for constituting the EU as an actor, independent and autonomous in relations with other global actors in the international relations, including the United States.

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International Relations and the European Union. Values before Power
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European Integration, Institutions, International Relations, Avant-garde Europe, Democratic Deficit, Elitism, Parochialism, Federalism, BRICS, China, CFSP, CSDP, Neofunctionalism, USA, Belt and Road Initiative, Civilization-State, Nation-State, New World Order, Multilateralism, Regionalism, values, European Union
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Goran Ilik (Author), 2020, International Relations and the European Union. Values before Power, Munich, GRIN Verlag,


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