Edited by Steven Blockmans and Panos Koutrakos
Chapter 19: The European Union as post-national realist power
This chapter argues that the post-national character of the EU is not incompatible with a realist foreign policy. The Treaties and the relevant strategy papers clearly demonstrate that ‘liberal realism’ is the deep structure determining the Union’s identity and foreign policy. The Union’s primary objective is to preserve its fundamental interests, independence, integrity and security. Moreover, the Union promotes its liberal-democratic values, which are integrated in its interests. The realist dimension of the Union’s foreign policy has recently come to the fore as result of systemic risks arising in the neighbouring geopolitical spaces. The EU migration policy post 2015 was shaped by the prioritization of the rule of law and maintenance of order over individual benefits and expectations. In the area of security and defence, the Union and Member States have made a ‘great leap forward’ through minilateralism, the mutual assistance clause, and adoption of the framework of permanent structured cooperation.
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