February 10, 2013
Following ECFR European Foreign Policy Scorecard I find one important question for national policy makers: how relevant are global governance and EU foreign policy for different groups of states? We have witnessed the dominant behaviour of the biggest states (France, Germany, UK) and scorecard shows relative inaction of Greece, Latvia, Romania, Lithuania, Portugal, Cyprus, Slovenia, Bulgaria, Estonia, Malta, Slovakia, also called top slackers. Is their strategic choice to join the alliances with one of the big three or could we find some other real life problems behind the data provided by ECFR?
I would dig into collective behaviour of EU: what is the collective identity of EU and what kind of values are turned into policies on the community level? We could think of European values based on history, organisational culture, identity shift, and values as soft power approach, secularization, rule of law, parliamentary democracy, normativization, demilitarization in comparison to US etc.
I would also look into the real life problems – is it true that small states tend to hand over global governance to the Community, because they can not really be effective in managing global issues, given the limits of their atomised powers? Perhaps they choose different priorities on national level and devote their resources to regional or local politics such as Eastern neighbourhood or Balkans development. These multilateral niche projects are somehow overlooked by scorecard, even if they really represent the soft fabric of international relations. There is also a pervasive notion of EU periphery, leading to complacency and accommodation of slackers. Truly, ECFR admits EU is “exporting the crisis to its already-troubled periphery and this is to some extent undercutting its policy in the region.”
Bilaterally, China features high in Slovenia which organised Bled Strategic Forum with panel enhancing Europe’s strategic dialogue with China. Prof. Zhu Liqun, vice president of China Foreign Affairs University and Secretary-General of the China National Association for International Studies, rejected the question of whether China is willing to help Euro as rhetorical, as China perceives it is already doing it and contributing to the European financial stability. Dilemma was turned on its head: “Is Europe ready to accept Chinese investment and can resist the temptation of politicizing Chinese investment and protectionism?” It is obvious that values behind this question will not make it into European foreign policy, but peripheral countries have been already forced to make a decision.
[kml_flashembed movie="http://vimeo.com/48734691" width="400" height="300" wmode="transparent" /]