Building a Non-eurocentric Global Strategy?
The new EU Global Strategy should not only define the parameters of how Europe approaches the world; it must also reflect how the world views Europe. In an era of interdependence where information and narratives are often as important in shaping policy as concrete objectives, understanding the perceptions of others is a strategic imperative. The objectives of the EUGS will be clearly based upon European interests and values, but their “success” will largely depend on whether other powers and partners view them as benign, mutually beneficial, or even neo-imperialist. Based on a series of interviews conducted with visiting diplomats and defence officials at the Geneva Centre for Security Studies in February and March 2016, this paper will attempt to paint a picture of how various external actors perceive the development of Europe as a global player. It will focus on four trends which emerged from the interviews: Europe’s place in “the West” and its relationship with the US; the historic European practice of political conditionality and the confusion between interests and values in foreign policy; how the EU complements or confuses the work of the (often more visible) member states abroad; and the recurring question of the development of the EU as a military or “hard” actor.
Domhnall O’Sullivan . email@example.com
Geneva Centre for Security Policy
Domhnall O’Sullivan is a visiting fellow with the Geneva Centre for Security Policy, focusing on EU foreign policy implementation, especially towards the MENA region. He holds a BA in European Studies (Trinity College Dublin, 2010) and a MA in EU International Relations and Diplomacy (College of Europe Bruges, 2013). He has previously worked for the EU Institute for Security Studies and has also spent time as a journalist in Lebanon. Before coming to the GCSP, he spent two years as a Research Analyst with the World Economic Forum.