par Ponjaert, Frederik
Référence The EU's Foreign Policy: What Kind of Power and Diplomatic Action?, Ashgate Publishing Ltd, page (135-158)
Publication Publié, 2013
Partie d'ouvrage collectif
Résumé : As the European level's impact on the international stage has grown, a commensurate body of literature and commentary has emerged seeking to describe and assess such a novel kind of macro-regional actor. Interest in the external action capabilities of the European regional edifice has only increased as its distinctive brand of regional governance through deep institutional cooperation gained new significance in the face of rapidly mounting global systemic interdependencies. When interacting with its near and far abroad the EU deploys a set of specific policy tools which reflect both its political goals as well as the inherent opportunities and limits of its sui generis type of polity. With this distinctive toolbox, inter-regional partnerships occupy a crucial and symptomatic position. Treaty after treaty, as a structural feature of the EU's external action, inter-regional initiatives have echoed each of the advances (and lemons) associated with the EU's ever more complex foreign policy machinery. The comparative analysis of the growing number of inter-regional initiatives launched by the EU confirms the ever growing scope of the EU's external action and the concomitant 'capability-expectation gap' this came to cultivate. As an answer to this dilemma the TEU/TFEU introduced a series of institutional changes focused on enhancing both the legitimacy and efficiency of the Union's external action. However, the same comparative exercises shows that these reforms have not meant a qualitative jump, but rather a deepening of prevailing tendencies within the EU's inter-regionalism: (1) strong constituency with the EU's overall political goals; (2) an inter-regional narrative dominated by Eurocentric tendencies which foster regular inconsistencies; (3) a marginally improved horizontal policy coherence within each interregional platform through bureaucratic streamlining but at the costs of higher inward looking-ness; and finally a de facto division of labour between the members of the emerging three-headed foreign policy leadership. Group-to-group relations thus increasingly echo one of these agendas: economic (global) governance within the PEC, enhanced actorness for the EU within the offices of the HR/EEAS and the preservation of its key supranational prerogatives within the EC.