The EU’s Difficulty in Translating Interests into Effective Foreign Policy Action: A Look at the Ukraine Crisis

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Abstract

The EU’s foreign policy response(s) to the unfolding Ukraine crisis has further illustrated its difficulty in making effective foreign policy decisions. Using a neoclassical realist analytical framework, this paper argues that although the EU did have tangible collective interests in pursuing its Ukraine foreign policy, it was unable to adequately filter these through its domestic setting. Three key constraints to the EU’s Ukrainian foreign policy> were identified: decision-makers ’ miscalculations; rigid normative demands; and a reliance on consensus politics. Ultimately, the Ukraine crisis illustrated that the EU, in current incarnation, cannot translate interests into effective foreign policies, even when making policy for their direct neighbourhood.

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Baltic Journal of European Studies

Tallinn Law School, Department of Law, School of Business and Governance, TalTech University

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CiteScore 2017: 0.22

SCImago Journal Rank (SJR) 2017: 0.119
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