Van Langenhove, Luk. (2010) The EU as a Global Actor in a Multipolar World and Multilateral 2.0 Environment. Egmont Paper No. 36, March 2010. [Policy Paper]
This paper discusses a number of long-term global trends that are likely to affect the ambition of the EU to be a global actor. Being or becoming a global power is indeed not only determined by an internal and voluntary policy of that actor. It also depends on a number of external forces. The first part of this paper will present two ongoing transformations of the world that together are weakening the position of the EU as an aspiring global power. The first trend is a shift in economic gravity from the East to the West. The second trend is a demographic decline in Europe. Both trends make it increasingly difficult for the EU to be a global power. But at the same time one can also identify a number of developments with regard to multilateralism that bear in them opportunities for the EU to increase its influence as a global actor. The second part of this paper focuses on two such trends, the shift to multipolarity and the changes in the multilateral architecture. As for the latter, this paper introduces the notion of 'multilateralism 2.0.' as a metaphor to grasp these changes.
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