Conclusion: The Global Responsibility of the European Union: From Principles to Policy

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


At a time when the EU seems to be less and less confident internally and more and more ambitions in global affairs, when it admits to be uncertain about its economic fate under globalisation, but at the same time claims to be a ‘successful example of “globalisation” on a regional scale’,1 there is a serious need for reflection over the Union’s global role and direction. This book has intended to respond to the challenge by not offering another volume on what the EU does, but what it ought to do. The aims of the book have been at least threefold:

First, and primarily, we have sought to go beyond the simple assumptions that tend to shape the foreign policies of the European Union. We have wanted to question the often unsubstantiated wishes to make the Union an ever more important global actor and the more or less hollow rhetoric generally accompanying these wishes. We have not argued, however, that the EU should try to minimise its international role, but instead emphasised that whatever that role will be, it should be a result of conscious, careful political assessments — assessments that should, ideally, involve an ethical component. We have sought to find out, why, why on earth, the EU should take certain action and refrain from others in today’s world.


Foreign Policy Global Community Full Membership Legitimate Expectation External Affair 
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© Hartmut Mayer and Henri Vogt 2006

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