Nasra, Skander (2009) The Europeanization of National Foreign Policy: Bilateral Relations Revisited? In: UNSPECIFIED. (Unpublished)
The Europeanization of foreign policy is widely considered to be beneficial to smaller EU member states. Yet, the conditions under which they may pursue their foreign policy objectives as well as the consequences of EU membership to their bilateral policies with third countries remains scarcely researched. This paper first examines the possibilities for smaller member states to influence the development of EU foreign policy. The paper then goes on to analyze the way a smaller member state’s role in EU foreign policy may impact on their national foreign policies to third countries. This paper thus links the analysis of the EUs foreign policy system to studies of Europeanization. Concretely, this paper analyzes the role of Belgium – as one of the EU’s smaller member states – in the development of EU foreign policy towards the Democratic Republic of the Congo. The paper concludes that four factors determine the extent of a smaller member state’s influence in EU foreign policy: the extent to which the policy process is characterized by the ‘logic of arguing’, the role of information, the extent of involvement of a member state and the presence of EU actors. This role influences whether EU membership ends in a strengthening of a smaller member state’s bilateral relations – resulting in a pattern of parallel diplomacies – or its convergence into a wider European whole.
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