The EU as an Effective Foreign and Security Actor in the Middle East Peace Process:
A post-Lisbon Treaty Analysis
The aim of this research project is to assess the effectiveness of the European Union (EU) as a foreign and security actor in the particular case of the Middle East Peace Process (MEPP). To do so, this paper uses Role Theory as a theoretical framework, integrating then the study of foreign policy analysis and international relations. By firstly identifying how does the EU’s conceives its roles as a foreign and security actor, and then confronting it to its actual performance in the MEPP, this dissertation explores the EU’s ‘conception-expectation gap’ identified by Ole Elgström and Michael Smith XXXXXXXXXXThis paper holds that if the EU acts according to its role conceptions, then it can be considered as an efficient foreign and security actor. Here, the EU’s effectiveness is analysed on the two main activities it cu
ently undertakes in the MEPP: the EU’s diplomatic activity regarding the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict (IPC) and the EU’s state-building activity in Palestine. Whereas it has been effective in the latter, the EU’s efforts in pursuing its diplomatic activities towards the IPC cannot be described as effective. This variation between the two analyses informs us that the EU’s cannot be considered as a full-fledged effective foreign and security actor in the MEPP. The research findings complete the cu
ent literature on EU’s actorness; EU’s foreign and security policy effectiveness and EU’s involvement in the MEPP.
. Tables of Contents:
. Abstract 3
. Introduction 5
Chapter 1 8
XXXXXXXXXXLiterature Review 8
Chapter 2: Role Conception Analysis 18
Chapter 3: The EU’s Diplomatic Activity Towards the IPC 26
Chapter 4: The EU’s State-Building Activity in Palestine 36
Chapter 5: Conclusion XXXXXXXXXX46
‘Over the last ten years, Europe has become a global player whose voice is heard on every continent. We have developed a foreign policy, with the structures and tools to underpin it’ (Javier Solana, 2009)
These words pronounced by the High Representative Javier Solana, at the aftermath of the Lisbon Treaty (LT) ratification illustrate the belief that the EU developed the capacities to become an effective actor in international politics. European foreign and security policy greatly evolved since the creation of the European Political Cooperation in 1970. Indeed, through different treaties amendment, the Union developed policy tools, institutions, and strategies aimed at achieving its ambitions. The last of these, hence the LT was drafted to improve the effectiveness of the EU’s foreign and security policy. Indeed, out of sixty-two amendments to the Treaty, twenty-five were related to the Union’s foreign and security policy (Bach et al. 2011: 219). In 1948, while European leaders assisted the Hague Congress, preparing the early days of the European integration project, a conflict emerged on the southern borders of the Old continent: the first Arab-Israeli war. Whereas the creation of the European Union provided peace, liberty and development, this war evolved into an intergenerational conflict leading to instability, te
or and injustice. The IPC soon became one of the top preoccupations of EU’s foreign policy agenda. From the Venice Declaration XXXXXXXXXXwhere the European Community (EC) committed to the resolution of the conflict; to the of December 2009’s Council of the European Union (the Council) Conclusion where the EU condemned Israeli settlements in Occupied Palestinian Te
itories (OPTs), the Union became a major actor of the MEPP.
Considering on the one hand, EU’s aspirations to become a full-fledged effective foreign and security actor and on the other hand, its increasing involvement in the MEPP a question comes to mind: Is the EU an effective foreign and security actor in the MEPP since the enforcement of the LT? Hence this essay is an attempt to give substance to this issue. To do so, this papers answer to two sub questions: what are the aims of the EU as a foreign and security actor? And how does it perform as such in its involvement of the MEPP? Here, EU foreign and security policy is the object of my analysis; and is understood as the foreign and security policy of the EU, not the one of its Member States (MSs). Effectiveness is measured in terms of goals attainment. Using role theory, this paper integrates the study of foreign policy analysis in international relations theory. By analysing the level of congruity between EU’s self-conception and EU’s actual performance in the MEPP this dissertation argues that the EU cannot be considered as a full-fledged effective foreign and security actor as its effectiveness importantly varies depending on the activities it undertakes.
This dissertation is divided into five chapters. The first chapter identifies and discusses the academic literature on the present topic and describes the methodology used in this paper. The second chapter captures how does the EU conceives its roles as a foreign and security actor in the post-LT era. Chapter three and four applies those role conceptions to the main activities of the EU in the MEPP. The first one is the diplomatic activity of the EU towards the IPC. The second is the contribution of the Union to the Palestinian state-building process. Finally, the last chapter, discusses the findings of the analysis, relates them to the existing academic literature and provides a summary of the dissertation, as well as suggestions for future research on the topic.
. Literature Review:
Before analysing the effectiveness of the EU as a foreign and security actor, one first has to identify and discuss the main debates su
ounding this topic. Hence, a first section is dedicated to the debate around EU’s actorness in international politics. A second section discusses the notion of effectiveness in the EU foreign and security policy. Finally a last part analyses the literature that emerged on the EU’s involvement in the MEPP.
The first series of debates su
ounding the EU’s effectiveness as a foreign and security actor are the one that discusses the Union’s actorness. Actorness designates ‘the ability to function actively and deliberately in relation to other actor in the international system’ (Sjösted XXXXXXXXXXquoted in Niemann and Bretherton, 2013: 265). This part argues that the EU is an actor in the international system and that its foreign and security actorness cannot be conceptualised as a federal state or as a normative power but as a multidimensional actor.
Certain IR scholars from neorealist tradition (Hyde-Price, 2006; Pijpers, 1991) tend to not consider the EU as an international actor of its own but rather as an instrument used by its MSs to achieve their ends (Ginsberg, 2001: 34). Furthermore, this state-centric approach views the lack of EU’s military forces, its incapacity to speak with one voice and its absence in certain conflicts as proof of its i
elevance in international politics. However, these analyses omit considerable amounts of facts that make the EU a relevant foreign and security actor of its own. Indeed, the EU with its trading power, its European Neighbourhood Policy (ENP) affecting 17 countries, its
oad network of bilateral and multilateral agreements, its multiples civilian and military missions (Telo, 2013: 39-40), its 139 delegations present around the world (more than certain state such as Angola), is an international actor of its own. Notwithstanding its lack of ‘state features’, the EU has the resources to alter other’s actor behaviours (Telo, 2013: 40). EU’s actorness in international politics is then taken for granted in this dissertation.
The second debate su
ounding EU’s actorness concerns the conceptualisation of its role in international politics. The EU has often been refe
ed as a ‘heterodox unit of analysis’ (Andreatta, 2005: 19) because of the mixture of its intergovernmental and supranational features. As a result, an important part of the academic literature focused on how conceptualised EU’s actorness. Conceptualising EU’s foreign and security policy is a necessary step in the analysis of its effectiveness. Indeed, its is needed to establish the criteria on which it will be evaluated. EU’s external action has often been associated with the one of federal states. For instance, Brattbertg and Rhinard XXXXXXXXXXcompared the EU with the United States (US) in their analysis of international disaster relief. However, this comparison is limited. In fact, the EU cannot be compared as a federal state, simply because it is not one. Mario Telo argued that the Union external action lacks the budgetary capacities and the institutional set to be considered as such (2013: 42). Thus the EU’s actorness cannot be compared with the one of a federal state. Moreover, in his article Ian Manners XXXXXXXXXXdefines the EU as a normative power. This concept is ‘an attempt to suggest that not only is the EU constructed on an normative basis, but importantly that this predisposes it to act in a normative way in world politics’ (Manners, 2002: 252). While I do not deny that the EU sometimes acts as a promoter of norms, Manner’s analysis is limited. Firstly, contrary to what he pretends EU’s foreign policy is not intrinsically based on the promotion of norms. In fact, EU’s promotion of norms sometimes remains rhetoric and lacks the necessary willingness to enshrine them. As A. Warkotsch XXXXXXXXXXdemonstrated, EU’s promotion of democracy in Central Asia appeared only there on paper, and was actually never translated into concrete efforts ‘on the ground’. Furthermore, the EU is more than a normative power. Alongside with and sometimes against its normative objectives, the EU also seeks to act a force for security. For instance, George Joffé XXXXXXXXXXdemonstrated in his article how EU’s relationship with North Africa became gradually more securitized rather than normative, to exclusively focus at the