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EU Requirement of Common Foreign and Military Policy


EU has been at the forefront in asserting itself to play a role in world affairs. The regional body has played quite a plausible job with regard to foreign relations and peacemaking all in its umbrella of common foreign and military security. The common foreign and military policy gives answers to all questions addressed to the European Union security, together with the progressive framing of an ESDP (European security and defense policy). This might in time result in common defense, should it be decided by the European Council. Accordingly, a common defense policy progressive framing will be supported, when determined to be appropriate, by cooperation amid the member states in the armaments field (McCormick, 1999 p. 124).

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As per the chosen language here, it is quite reflective of the excessive care of the member states in engaging themselves into the common defense concerning area, over the long time period, their armed forces assimilation. With reference to October 1993 in Brussels, this policy must be directed specifically to reducing the worries and risks that could put to end the destruction of the political independence as well as defensive honesty of the union, as well as the member nations, their stability economically, their self-governing environment as well as the neighboring areas’ steadiness (Bretherton, and Vogler, 1999 p. 154). It is true that getting to understand the international existence of the EU is not a simple chore. Scholars agree that the EU exists internationally and that it displays some aspects of “actorness” (it is an actor internally in some parts but not in other parts). The existence and actorness of the EU have been linked to “EFP” (European Union foreign policy)’s existence (Ginsberg, 1999, pp. 429-54). Nonetheless, putting aside the measuring of the policymaking as well as the external behavior of the EU for us to conclude whether EU foreign policy exists or not, the theoretical concern has been chiefly directed towards the theoretical capability anticipation gap and towards classifying and defining not the European foreign policy, but the international task of the European Union (Hill, 2002, p. 76).

The current status of the European foreign and military policy

Currently, the European Union has utilized its common foreign and military policy in various affairs of the world. Appertaining to international affairs, the European Union has worked on a number of issues running from global warming to the conflicts that take place in the Middle East. The common foreign and military policy of the European Union is based on “soft” power: the utilization of diplomacy-supported where necessary by aid, trade, as well as peacemakers-for, resolving conflicts as well as cause understanding internationally. Accordingly, European Union has succeeded in sending missions related to peacemaking to numerous problems acne of the universe. For instance, a cease-fire was led by the European Union in August the year 2008 that resulted in the end of the war between Georgia and Russia and moreover did set out a team of observers to watch over the circumstances. Moreover, it undertook the provision of humanitarian aid to the people displaced as a result of the fighting. Similarly, it went ahead to organize an international conference of donors for Georgia.

The European Union also plays a leading role in the Balkans. At this destination, it undertook funding to give hand to projects in around seven nations to support them in building state communities. In 2008 December, the European Union happened to set out about 1900-tough police and impartiality force to help reinstate tidy and law in Kosovo (Churruca, 2003, pp. 444-477).

The European Union is thus on and running with regard to common foreign and military policy. The European Union is influencing what happens in the world that needs intervention. This is reflective of the common spirit that is being shared with the member states.

The EU has undertaken to give its diplomacy more visibility and clout. It has come up with the position of high representatives the foreign the policy of foreign and military. The high representatives are judged with coordinating the EU member nations and carrying out the foreign policy. These high representatives are given hand by staff from the political arena and the military. The European Union does not possess an army as an organization. It, therefore, turns to the alternative of basing itself on the ad hoc armies that are sent by member nations in its attempts to keep the peace, manage crisis and carry out humanitarian support work. For the purposes of responding very fast, the European Union has formed fighting troops of about 15,000 forces for each of them. On-standby every moment there are two battle troops (Nugent, 2006, p. 20). Supporting these actions, we have principles from the policy of European security as well as defense.

The European Union has undertaken some activities related to the protection of the ground surface. It undertook its first work of mission in the area of the Balkan. By the year 2007 May, the European Union did dispatch a task of the police on a 3-year duty in Afghanistan, and as the 20-08 year began, the European Union also did dispatch about 3000 military armies to the regions that precincts the central African republic as well as Chad to take guard of the refugees who got displaced as a result of the war that had erupted in the Darfur region in southern Sudan, that precincts the area. Most recently, in 2008 December the European Union embarked on its first-ever marine operation (Churruca, 2000, p 3:176-186). This particular task involves protecting against the actions of the pirate in the waters of Somalia coast, more specifically the ships shipping aid items into Somalia.

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It is evident from the foregoing above the European Union is currently leaving a mark as much as its foreign policy is concerned. The military action also shows some indications of some strong common military action that has a future as per unfolding events. However, any development that comes out of a regional block has high prospects of being politically as well as purely economic.

The challenges facing the European common foreign and military policy

Challenges are part of any positive action that may be thought of especially in terms of foreign and military policy. There is a number of challenges that face the common foreign and military policy (H. Wallace, W. Wallace, & M. Pollack, 2005, p. 52). First, a difficult challenge that has faced the common foreign and security policy is the achievement of the intended status. It is the 1992 Maastricht Treaty that made official the CFSP (common foreign and security policy) principle. European nations have always been keen on recognizing the need to work together in foreign as well as defense matters. However, this has demonstrated the difficulty of attaining. An apprehensive beginning was initiated in 1970 via a process known as European cooperation, in which the European nations attempted to coordinate their stands on foreign policy issues within the UN (united nations) as well as other international organizations(Adler, 1991, p. 60). But on specific sensitive matters, or where a particular European nation had exceptional interests, no suggestion could be voiced since the decisions here required unanimous voting.

The coming out of a fresh post-communist universe arrangement, as well as the rise of international violence, put pressure on the European Union nations to once again double their energy to talk as one when it came to the matters of the globe.

Some of the big problems facing the European Union foreign policy: lack of a common strategy, weak representation, lack of ownership, lack of coherence and restrictive financial regulations (Caparoso, 1996, pp. 30-52). Lack of a common strategy is a very prominent difficulty facing European Union foreign policy. By now there is no single European Union forum that has witnessed institutions as well as governments easily attempt to discuss foreign policy strategy. As per the 2003 accepted European security strategy, there is a clear framework for thinking about current security challenges. However, the European Union has not made coherent policies or advances to specific issues like Russia, East Asian security, democracy promotion in the Middle East or the “European neighborhood policy”. In most cases the foreign p[policy to the European Union is centered towards crisis management rather than preventing them or putting together its numerous assets in the pursuit of precise objectives. The issue of weak representation caused by the rotation of the presidency has not been addressed and make the European Union be weak and thus unable to play a reasonable role on the world scene, since it can even be represented by as low as three delegates in serious matters like the security of middle east. Similarly, a lack of ownership stake in the European Union causes huge nations such as the UK, Germany and France not to be free to move their agendas on EU foreign policy since they fear being faulted by those with less stake or the EU’s institutions.

Lack of coherence is one of the main reasons why the European Union is not able to count on its potential in foreign policy since it fails in linking up its trade, aid, diplomatic, military judicial as well as other policies (Kagan, 2002). It rarely considers the external impact of internal EU policies like environment, security and justice, or even transports section. The European Union has therefore to unlock a method of doing away with the contradictions that usually exists amid its agricultural, security and development policies; amid the policies of the European Union and the member-states; amid the observations of the ministers’ council and the commission; and amid the distinct departments of both the council and the commission (European Council 2001, pp. 14-15). The NATO formation by the United States coupled with a big army backing behind the U.S. cannot just allow the E.U to focus an independent common foreign and security policy as the NATO has already taken precedence and is always called upon by the E.U. Thus, the operation of the NATO forces especially in the Middle East parts of Asia cannot be underrated and will always have influence. The NATO operation gained momentum during the rain of G.W Bush jr. and gained the necessary support and thus poses a great challenge to the success of E.C’s common foreign and security policy (White, 1999).

Significance of the European common foreign and military policy

The significance of the European common foreign policy is wide and ever-evolving but can be briefly captured in what the common foreign policy comprises. EU Common Foreign Policy (CFP) is the manner in which the European Union does project itself towards the external globe as a response to external challenges and as per the common interests and common values. EU CFP is, therefore, the consequence of a process of decision making that via a single institutional framework, permits the formulation and implementation of strategies of foreign policy using CFSP, community and instruments of the third pillar. Even since the treaty on European Union came into force we observe the way it has steadily expanded its scope (progressive character of EU) there are exists, however, geographic regions where the member states do not share similar geopolitical benefits (interests) neither do they have similar responsibilities and compromises (with exception of South Africa, Africa, in general, is the best analogy) (Allen, and Smith, 1990, pp. 19-37). It can also be alleged that is common, however, not consistent fully. Nonetheless full and absolute consistency, in terms of both institutions and activities, is rarely an achievable target. Moreover which foreign policy of a nation can alleged to be fully consistent? According to Dassau and Missiroli, acknowledgment, this is that way inside the member states, and it is all the more like that at the European Union level in addition in the US ‘the consistency lacking is a necessary and agreed property of the system of making foreign policy, in which there is a fight for primacy among competing agencies and the president assumes the role of referee as well as the final enforcer.”

The structural character of the Union’s common foreign policy carries its strength. From the time the Treaty on European Union came into force we have seen the development of world, long-term strategies centered in the direction of the priority geographic regions of the EU. Beyond their definite goals, they serve the universal goals of the Treaty on European Union of peacekeeping and international security intensifying, the international trade expansion and to the universal goal of consolidating and expanding of the rule of law and self-governance, and that of regarding rights of basic freedoms and rights of humans. Three main instruments are used to pursue these objectives: the promotion of trade, political dialogue and regional co-operation/ integration support. These are instruments that do possess a perspective of long-term stabilization (Risse-Kappen, 1996, pp. 55-57). With this consideration, Common foreign policy indicates the benefices of a foreign policy generated by other ways than the military, therefore, reinforcing the Union’s civilian power image (Lofthouese & Long, 1996, pp. 181-196).

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The need for EU common foreign and military policy

From the above discussion, we can now see that the common foreign and military policy is very useful for development and peacemaking. We can see that because of CFP the EU possesses a comparative advantage in the conflict prevention field. Conflict prevention does require that a comprehensive as well as a multidimensional advance that put together emergency aid and measure of protecting human rights and measures of rehabilitation together with long-term strategies that do address the underlying causes that take humanitarian needs in regard. The EU’s add value in this context is two-fold: on one side it does dispose of a whole instruments’ range from diplomatic activity, assistance externally, humanitarian to human rights policy, environmental and social policies, trade policy, etc that can be targeted well towards the prevention of conflict via an integrated and long-term advance and, on the other side of the coin it could give an assurance of relief –rehabilitation-development continuum during the different phases (Hill: 1990, pp. 31-35). Furthermore, it is the only association having the mandate, system, decision making as well as financial wording required. No other organ at the level of the universe can be compared to the European Union’s commission in terms of financial resources, presence in the field, and experience.


The European Union is an outstanding body in the universe because of its kind and therefore, affects the life of humankind as a whole. It has the necessary network in the field coupled with experience and a financial base that help it execute its responsibilities successfully. Its common foreign and military policy is very useful such that it needs much attention to develop and expand it so that it can be collected to serve the Union obligations beyond individual member-countries foreign policies (European Commission 2001). Minimization of the challenges of rotation of presidency and lack of coherence among others is paramount to the success of the policy (Hix 2005). Embracing the Union’s common foreign and military policy will see the union expand even more and remain the outstanding organization of the kind, in the world.

Reference List

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