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How has the EU foreign policy changed in the wake of the US-led Iraq war?

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How has the EU foreign policy changed in the wake of the US-led Iraq war?

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Samenvatting

The purpose of this dissertation is to investigate the foreign policy changes that the EU experienced due to the Iraq
crisis. The increasing complexity of the global security environment has played an important role in the EU foreign
policy evolution by challenging the EU’s effective management of its external relations. Hence, the central question
of this research looks closer at “How has the EU foreign policy changed in the wake of the US-led Iraq war?” In
order to better understand the changes that the EU foreign policy has gone through in the first decade of the 21st
century, various research methods were used to reach an adequate answer to the question under research. The
information used in this work is mainly derived from an extensive desk research with a part of it collected through
qualitative methods in the means of a semi-structure interview with an Estonian diplomat. The findings of this
research showed that although the EU was able to act unified and be an important soft power actor during the
Afghanistan war, it was confronted with deep intra-community divisions over the Iraq crisis. These proved that the
EU is incapable to act within its normative approaches when facing disagreements among member states. As a
reaction to these intra-Union conflicts and the malfunctioning of the external policy, the EU adopted the European
Security Strategy (ESS). The ESS enabled the Union to improve the decision-making over Iraq and to provide
valuable reconstruction assistance to Iraq. In this post-war period the EU emerged as a normative superpower by
being an irreplaceable soft power actor. These developments faced in the times of the Iraq invasion led to the
establishment of the Lisbon Treaty that in nature addressed similar objectives as the ESS. The Lisbon Treaty, with
its legal status and more detailed amendments, aimed to strengthen the organisation of the EU foreign policy. The
creation of the office of the High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy together with the EEAS
improved the EU’s foreign policy coordination. Furthermore, the enhanced cooperation was a step forward to assure
EU’s active presence in its external relations. Therefore, the Iraq crisis has undoubtedly inspired the EU foreign
policy reforms introduced by the ESS and the Lisbon Treaty. With the help of these changes, the Union’s foreign
and security policy has become more coherent, efficient and capable.

Toon meer
OrganisatieDe Haagse Hogeschool
AfdelingMO Europese Studies / European Studies
Jaar2016
TypeBachelor
TaalEngels

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