Over the Edge: European External Policy in Evolution

  • Monica den BoerEmail author


The external policies of the EU are mostly focused on its neighbouring regions. The EU’s expansion of these external policies is backed by several assumptions. Leading assumptions consist of a correlation between failed states, crime and terrorism and of the idea that crime and terrorism do not stick to borders and are therefore semi-uncontrollable and mobile. The author also argues that there is therefore no longer use to distinct between EU citizens and citizens outside of the EU. Although the EU counts fewer deaths than Iraq or Syria, the EU suffers from crimes such as trafficking in human beings and cybercrime. The EU’s external policy is also based on the asymmetry of income, employment, education and liberty, which draws many people from surrounding areas to Europe. Furthermore, it is based on the concept of interdependency. Globalization implies that the EU is connected economically to other countries. The European Crisis Management shows the connection between the internal and external side of justice and home affairs, for example in the areas of counter-terrorism and organized crime. The author mentions three instruments the EU uses to perform activities in this area. Firstly, the regulatory instrument, which is meant to normalize the conduct of the target partners. Secondly, the incentive instruments, which are non-coercive by nature. Thirdly and most preferable, the capacity tools that activate individuals and groups to make decisions. The major challenge for the EU, according to the author, is shaking off its reputation of internal fragmentation, because this reduces its external credibility. The EU has to create a long-term strategy, particularly for peace operations and slowly integrate national policing actors in its external programmes.


Crisis Management Home Affair Security Actor Transnational Crime Irregular Migration 
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.


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Copyright information

© T.M.C. Asser Press and the authors 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Vrije Universiteit AmsterdamAmsterdamThe Netherlands
  2. 2.College of EuropeBrugesBelgium
  3. 3.Police Academy of the NetherlandsApeldoornThe Netherlands

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