Afterword: Towards a European Diplomatic System?

  • Brian Hocking
  • David Spence
Part of the Studies in Diplomacy and International Relations book series (SID)


This book has focused on a very specific issue relating to what is often referred to as ‘Europeanisation’: namely its impact on the role and organisation of EU member state foreign ministries (FMs). However, it is often difficult to separate the effects of the broader processes of growing global interdependence from those related to the membership of regional organisations such as the EU since, as one study has argued, ‘European integration interacts and intersects with wider processes of change in the contemporary nation state, international political economy and world politics!’ As we can see from the foregoing chapters, national foreign policy administration has confronted several ‘layers’ of change as it has sought to adapt to internal and external pressures, but the EU is an arena with distinctive qualities that set it apart and pose particular challenges for member states. One of these challenges relates to the uncertainty expressed by Laffan et al. in terms of the EU’s ‘betweenness’ (poised between politics and diplomacy and the international and the domestic, for example) and the ‘process of becoming’, that is to say its evolution towards an indeterminate end state which may prove to bear little relation to traditional assumptions regarding forms of political order.2


Member State Foreign Policy Foreign Affair Foreign Ministry External Relation 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. 1.
    B. Laffan, R. O’Donnell, and M. Smith, Europe’s Experimental Union: Rethinking Integration (London: Routledge, 2000) p. 189.Google Scholar
  2. 3.
    On convergence, see D. Rometsch and W. Wessels, ‘European Union and national institutions’ in D. Rometsch and W. Wessels (eds) The European Union and Member States: Towards Institutional Fusion? (Manchester: Manchester University Press, 1996).Google Scholar
  3. 4.
    S. Keukeleire, ‘The European Union as a Diplomatic Actor’, DSP Discussion Papers, No. 71 (Leicester: Centre for the Study of Diplomacy, 2000) p. 5.Google Scholar
  4. 5.
    See H. Kassim, B. Guy Peters, and V. Wright, The National Co-ordination of EU Policy: the Domestic Level (Oxford, Oxford University Press, 2000) pp. 252–3.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Palgrave Macmillan, a division of Macmillan Publishers Limited 2005

Authors and Affiliations

  • Brian Hocking
  • David Spence

There are no affiliations available

Personalised recommendations