Research Handbook on the European Union and International Organizations
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Research Handbook on the European Union and International Organizations

Edited by Ramses A. Wessel and Jed Odermatt

Over the years, the European Union has developed relationships with other international institutions, mainly as a result of its increasingly active role as a global actor and the transfer of competences from the Member States to the EU. This book presents a comprehensive and critical assessment of the EU’s engagement with other international institutions, examining both the EU’s representation and cooperation as well as the influence of these bodies on the development of EU law and policy.
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Chapter 34: The challenges of engaging with international institutions

Jed Odermatt and Ramses A. Wessel


How does the Union, which seeks to support and support multilateralism and international institutions, respond to the changing international environment? The EU’s engagement with international institutions is closely linked to the challenges the EU faces, both at home and internationally. In the wake of the global financial crisis and the European debt crisis, the EU became more active in a wide range of international economic bodies, including the G20, which have influenced the EU’s responses to the crisis. In fields such as migration, terrorism, climate change, human rights and global health, the EU has acted with and through international institutions to address such challenges. Yet multilateralism also involves a commitment to a set of internationally recognized norms in order for these institutions to function: the sovereign equality of states, the principle of nonintervention, prohibition of the use of force in international relations and a commitment to respect for international human rights. The EU’s support for multilateralism, therefore, goes beyond supporting the key institutions of global governance, but also takes in certain values that underlie them.

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