Edited by Antonina Bakardjieva Engelbrekt, Moa Mårtensson, Lars Oxelheim and Thomas Persson
Chapter 10: External perceptions of the EU: obstacle or asset in the fight against global imbalances?
The European Union’s capacity for leadership is not just decided by the EU itself. It is also affected by the perceptions of other actors regarding the EU’s role, and by their reactions to its initiatives. The same can be said of the Union’s influence in the international arena, including its capacity to do something about global imbalances. Is the EU perceived as a legitimate actor that has something valuable to contribute? Are its promises seen as credible? Are its policies and actions perceived as coherent? In the coming years, the EU will face international negotiations in a number of important areas, and the result will shape the global governance structures of the future. For example, new efforts will be necessary if a free trade agreement within the World Trade Organization is to be saved; attempts will have to be made to set global rules to regulate the emission of greenhouse gases; and renewed initiatives must be taken to get the EU’s partners in the developing world to implement the partnership agreements they have signed up to. In all of these cases, the perceptions of outsiders will be key to the Union’s impact on the outcome.
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