Shaping EU Foreign Policy Towards Russia
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Shaping EU Foreign Policy Towards Russia

Improving Coherence in External Relations

Philipp Thaler

Offering a comprehensive and structured analysis of the reasons why the EU lacks external coherence towards Russia, this book presents important new insights to the topic beyond conventional institutionalist arguments. Philipp Thaler utilises key cases in external energy and human rights policies to highlight the on-going difficulties in creating a coherent position, despite the EU’s formally stated objective to achieve this.
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Chapter 4: How to coordinate the EU's foreign policy towards Russia? External coherence within the policy setting

Philipp Thaler

Abstract

Chapter 4 addresses the first part of the dual analytical approach of this book: it investigates the policy setting of the EU and its impact on external coherence towards Russia. The main argument is that a lack of coherence triggers the reinforcement of different coordination mechanisms. On the one hand, this is reflected in the formal institutional structure of external policy-making. The chapter reviews procedures and reforms in the European Council, the Council, the Commission, the HR and the EEAS, and their impact on external coherence. On the other hand, coordination is facilitated by informal practices, including socialization processes, the development of common values and objectives, like-minded groups, the practice of uploading and guidance through common agenda-setting and agreement on principles. Conversely, some elements of the policy setting, such as missing supranational competences, a fragmented institutional framework, turf wars, a lack of strategic objectives and administrative overload impede external coherence.

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