Edited by Fergus Carr and Andrew Massey
Chapter 2: Whither Europe?
Fergus Carr INTRODUCTION On 1 May 2004, with the accession of ten new states, the European Union (EU) grew from 15 to 25 members with a combined population of 459 million (Eurostat, 2004). The ten newcomers included eight Central and East European countries: the Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Slovakia and Slovenia plus Cyprus and Malta. Bulgaria and Romania are scheduled to join the Union in 2007, while Turkey and Croatia began membership negotiations in 2005. The Union consequently is now truly pan-European and constitutes the largest economic area in the world. It generates a quarter of global wealth and its currency, the euro, is second only to the US dollar in world ﬁnancial markets (European Commission, 2004, p. 2). In global terms the EU is the second largest economy in the world (Young, 2004, p. 201). For the European Commission, the ‘sheer size of the European Union in economic, trade and ﬁnancial terms makes it a world player’ (European Commission, 2004, p. 1). This chapter examines the Union’s capacity and record in international politics. It asks whether the EU performs as a major international actor if the Union has an external inﬂuence commensurate with its economic base and what sort of actor represents 25 member states. The chapter argues that the Union’s internal dynamic for integration has had a signiﬁcant external impact, and to focus exclusively on the ‘classical’ elements of foreign policy, including security, provides only a partial appreciation of the EU. The Union’s...
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