Has a common foreign policy for the eu led to convergence of the national foreign policies of the member states? analyze this question with a europeanization framework with specific examples.

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Has a common foreign policy for the EU led to convergence of the national foreign policies of the member states? Analyze this question with a Europeanization framework with specific examples.


Since the end of WW2 the EU has been trying to achieve coherence in its foreign policy. Indeed the creation of the European Political Co-operation (EPC) in 1970, the transition to the Common Foreign andSecurity Policy (CFSP) twenty years on, and the shift towards defence integration in 1999 indicates that the EU is increasingly becoming a coherent international figure. Yet, it is still apparent that it struggles to find common ground on many of its foreign policy objectives. As a Union made up of 27 member states (MS) which differ in terms of their interests, identity and culture, the risk oflosing national sovereignty often proves the inconvenience towards the convergence of European National Policies. This paper will demonstrate that even though membership to the EU acts as a motor for national adaptation, by changes in bureaucracy and the effects of a European socialization system, we still find that many countries, especially the most powerful ones, prefer to act independently.Before we begin the discussion we need to define a key term. According to Radaelli, Europeanization aims to “…explain processes of cultural change, new identities formation, policy change, administrative innovation and even modernization” . While, the Europeanization of foreign policy is best described as:
“…a transformation in the way in which national foreign policies are constructed followingthe pressure for adaptation, in the ways with which professional role are defined and pursued, and in the consequent internationalization of norms and expectations arising from a complex system of collective European policy making.”
Theakeyatermainatheaquoteaaboveais “adaptation”. Uponamembershipacountriesaarearequired to adapt their national foreign policies to the institutional frameworksof the EPC and CFSP. Following the researches by both Bennet Strand and Michael E. Smith I will describe and explain two of the key indicators of adaptation to the Europeanization of political co-operation.
Firstly, the CFSP requires countries to adapt bureaucratically, and “think(ing) in European terms” . By this we refer to a reorganization of the foreign policy structures. CFSP alsoinfluences the way “individual member states organize their pursuit of foreign policy.” With the EU presidency changing hands every six months, countries have to modernize their institutional foreign policy frameworks to cope with the complexities of the EU. Establishing new officials, for example, is an important part of how a country can react to the adaptation of a CFSP. When Spain was grantedpresidency in 1989, only three years after accession, the Spanish government faced immense organizational restructuring, especially considering the radical governmental changes following democratization. This can also be said about the newest eastern members, who, had to make significant investments into their foreign policy domain. They had to modernize their frameworks and ministries to cope withthe complexities and wide range of worldwide policies that the EU presents. In a Union of 27 states, the convergence of foreign policy is largely dependable on the ability of countries to learn about each member state´s national foreign policies. To illustrate we can see that upon membership in 2004, the Baltic States had no existing policies on Latin America or Africa, two areas which wereimportant for countries such as Spain, Portugal, France and the UK.
Elite socialization is often considered as the second most important indicator of adaption to the EPC/CFSP framework. Indeed, the creation of systems such as COREU-telex has enabled countries to exchange information, achieve political co-operation, and stimulate coordination. In fact, this system is “…assumed to have a socializing...
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