Marchetti, Andreas. (2006) The European Neighbourhood Policy. Foreign Policy at the EU’s Periphery. ZEI Discussion Papers C158, 2006. [Discussion Paper]
The French political scientist, physician, and author Jean-Christophe Rufin once stated that the “democratic civilisation cultivates the delicate privilege to know itself more mortal than all others.”(1) While his depiction of Western democracies as hypochondriacs appears to be somewhat far-reaching at first sight, the statement illustrates precisely one of the most prominent moods currently en vogue all over Europe, a Europe that does not yet seem to have overcome its identity crisis of the fin de millénaire. However widespread this mood might be, its assumptions are all but true. Europe, as one of the figureheads of democracy, has lived through manifold crises during the past decades but has eventually resolved all of them successfully.(2) Despite this strength, the European Union is only slowly adopting a more active international role, by spreading its values and influence piecemeal – but spreading them all the same.
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