The EU and Multilateralism: Nine Recommendations

(2011). The EU and Multilateralism: Nine Recommendations. EU-GRASP. United Nations University.

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  • Title The EU and Multilateralism: Nine Recommendations
    Series Title EU-GRASP
    Publication Date 2011-11-01
    Place of Publication Bruges
    Publisher United Nations University
    Pages 4
    Language eng
    Abstract The EU needs to focus on some key challenges as a new international order takes shape. First, it needs to develop better internal mechanisms for coordinating its positions in order to strengthen its voice and make it a more effective actor externally. This should occur through the everyday work of the European External Action Service (EEAS) diplomatic representation in coordination with other institutions with external relations responsibilities, through greater powers being invested in single EU chairs and through coordination amongst member states’ foreign policies. Second, the EU needs to rethink its external action and embrace the idea that multilateral policies, when effectively implemented, shape the world order and create the best environment for protecting and boosting the interests of the EU, its members states and, most importantly, its citizens. Finally, the EU must act flexibly and imaginatively to encourage hybrid forms of regional partnerships, formal and informal cooperation, both in the European area and beyond, and recognize that regionalism, in particular that following patterns comparable to those of European Integration, is a means to an end, not an end in itself. The aim of Regionalism, as well as that of Multilateralism, is the provision of public goods and the promotion of peace, democracy and sustainable development, not a specific organisational form. The essence of Multilateralism is very close to the raison d’être of the European project: European Integration could be considered as the World’s most developed multilateral arrangement, but a unique one due to its political finalité. This explains why multilateral instincts are deeply rooted in the EU’s identity as an international actor, almost a part of its DNA. The Treaty on European Union states clearly in the chapter devoted to the Union’s external action that it ‘shall promote multilateral solutions to common problems, in particular in the framework of the United Nations’ (Art. 21). But including a commitment to multilateralism in the treaties is one thing, and honouring that commitment in everyday engagement in multilateral negotiations and institutions is a different matter altogether.
    Copyright Holder United Nations University Institute on Comparative Regional Integration Studies
    Copyright Year 2011
    Copyright type All rights reserved
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