Hill, Christopher. (1997) "Closing the capability-expectations gap?". In: UNSPECIFIED, Seattle, WA. (Unpublished)
'European foreign policy' itself was, and remains, an elusive concept. It can be applied to the tout ensemble of what 'Europe' does in world politics, although we then run straight into the next problem of defining 'Europe' and 'European.' It can be taken to be simply the behavior of the European Union in the form of the Common Foreign and Security Policy, which would have the merit of taking the EU's claim to have an integrated ('Common') foreign policy at its word. Both in 1992 and in the present, however, this has too pedantic an effect, excluding as it does both what emerges from Pillar One/Community institutions and the national diplomatic activities of the fifteen Member states. My preferred starting-point, rather, is certainly the European Union and not other European states or institutions, but also the sum of what the EU and its Member states do in international relations. Only by taking an overview of all the elements of what we optimistically call 'European foreign policy' can we identify a pattern of behavior and assess the respective contributions of the various parts--positive and negative. The present paper seeks to take stock of what has happened with respect to EU foreign policy, and to draw up a balance-sheet of both capabilities and expectations, to see if the CEG has changed, and if it has become more or less pertinent as a way of understanding Europe's international position. To that end, I shall begin this paper by considering the changed historical context since 1992, and move on to measure the original definition of the CEG against the current situation with respect to both expectations and capabilities, each category containing within it a number of different sources and elements. The analysis then turns to consider the light of the CEG as it stands now, whether the EU's various roles in the world have been diminished or enhanced, and finishes by widening the scope of the argument again to compare the EU's international condition with that of other international organisations, particularly those important to the geopolitical area we call Europe.
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