The EU grand strategy: in and between great power politics

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To be a global actor one can defend it implies the need for a grand strategy that allows that kind of power actorness. But is the EU (already) a great power? Can it be a great power being (also) a political proxy of European powers? Taking these questions to start I will approach a few challenges and threats that the EU should address in setting up a grand strategy in the present context of the great power’s security competition. How can the EU set itself in that context of power competition between the United States, Russia, and China? What kind of threats that competition poses to Europe? How should the EU address that? What kind of power can the EU use in that competition? The relationship with Russia: the energy security question. Can the reconfiguration of Europe (with the Brexit) approximate Russia and Germany? The geopolitical questions will become preponderant in the EU grand strategy and the EU cannot ignore the great power politics. I also show that the paradigm shift affects the relationship with the United States. I will sustain that the EU needs to emancipate from the US but keeping the transatlantic relationship has a strategic asset. I will defend that point can be addressed by taking the relationship with NATO has synergetic. These questions will be approached using a theoretical framework based on a proposed Realism theory.

Keywords: EU grand strategy; great power politics; EU-NATO relationship; Geopolitics

José Bonito Viegas | Centro de Estudos Internacionais, ISCTE-IUL, Portugal

José Bonito Viegas is a Ph.D. candidate in History, Studies of Security and Defense at ISCTE-IUL (in a partnership with the Military Academy). He is a Jurist with a law degree by the University of Lisbon and has also a master’s degree in International Studies by ISCTE-IUL. His research focuses on historical non-conventional war cases during the contemporary era, as for example the resort to regime change operations and proxy wars, specifically concerning the use of political and psychological warfare. He is a Research Assistant at CEI-IUL.