The Outcome: The E3/EU as Identity Shapers

  • Riccardo Alcaro
Part of the Palgrave Studies in European Union Politics book series (PSEUP)


France, Germany, the United Kingdom and the High Representative () enabled the European Union to play multiple roles: initiator of a major diplomatic initiative, vigilant member of a rules-based international system, supporter of multilateral institutions and cooperative crisis management, committed transatlantic ally and non-proliferation norm-enforcer. The E3/EU experience also contributed to articulating the type identity of the European Union as a multi-actor foreign policy system encompassing both EU institutions and member states. Furthermore, the E3/EU effected a process through which the identity of member states was channelled through their EU membership. In the case of the outsiders, this happened because the management of Iran’s nuclear issue reflected an interest informed by EU membership. In the case of the insiders, this happened because the ‘EU option’ (i.e. acting through and along EU institutions) was internalised as a foreign policy practice that substantiated the E3’s self-representation as international agents.


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Riccardo Alcaro
    • 1
  1. 1.Istituto Affari InternazionaliRomeItaly

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