The External Relations of the European Union
Course Coordinator: Assoc. Prof. Azhari Karim
By the end of the course students should acquire an overall idea of the EU’s external relations particularly concerning trade, foreign political relations and development cooperation. It would allow the student to pursue more in-depth investigation on these themes
By the end of the course students should acquire an overall idea of the EU’s external relations particularly concerning trade, foreign political relations and development cooperation. It would allow the student to pursue more in-depth investigation on these themes.
This course discusses the EU’s relations with the rest of the world. Of central importance are its political and economic relations. Its cultural relation will only be discussed to a lesser extent.
We will first look at the EU’s relations with the United States, then its relations with the developing world – South America, Africa beyond the Sahara, and with Asia-Pacific. Special attention will be given to the EU’s bilateral and multilateral relations with Asia. Closer to home is the Mediterranean Basin and the enlargement of the EU into the rest of Europe. In maintaining relations with all these continents and regions of the world, the EU and its Member States are partially bound together by a Common Foreign and Security Policy (CFSP). In this regard it must be stressed that each individual Member State of the EU continues to maintain its own foreign and security policy. It is the CFSP, not the individual member countries’ policies which will be examined in this course although invariably we might have to take into consideration contradictions that might arise between the positions of different member states and difficulties in formulating a common foreign and security policy.
We shall also discuss the development of a Common European Security and Defence Policy (CESDP) in recent years. This stems from the understanding that the CFSP would not be taken seriously by third parties unless it is backed up by a military capability. Accordingly, a military Rapid Reaction Force (RRF) is to be established. Various initiatives have been taken like battle groups and the European Defence Agency. Instances when CESDP has been operationalised like in Macedonia, Bosnia and Congo will be discussed. Finally, the relationship between the EU and NATO will be discussed.
Here we will look at trade and investment of the EU Member States with the rest of the world. However, the aim is not to look at specific policies of the EU and its Member States but at the EU’s position and responses in more general terms vis-a-vis regulated trade liberalisation; its support for and role in the WTO; its support for regional economic integration generally, all over the world. We will further examine the competence of the European Commission in trade, in negotiating on behalf of all the Member States in the WTO.