Edited by Antonina Bakardjieva Engelbrekt, Moa Mårtensson, Lars Oxelheim and Thomas Persson
Chapter 1: The EU and global imbalances
When the Treaty of Maastricht took effect on 1 November 1993, it established a Common Foreign and Security Policy for the European Union (EU). The fall of the Soviet Union and the end of the Cold War had opened up new prospects for a uniting Europe to play a more important role in world affairs. With its economic strength and its core values of democracy and human rights, the EU has sought since then to promote peace and free trade, both in its immediate neighbourhood and in the rest of the world. With the adoption of the Lisbon Treaty in 2009, the Union sought to strengthen its role in the international arena, among other things by creating the new position of High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy (see Chapter 2, this volume). The High Representative would be assisted in turn by a new foreign service, the European External Action Service (EEAS). After several years of serious economic crisis, however, the Union now faces a number of vital challenges in the world arena. Can the Union still be a constructive force in world politics? And if so, how ought it to proceed?