Beyond 'one voice'? Global Europe's engagement with its own diversity

  • Macaj G
  • Nicolaïdis K
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Abstract

This contribution stands as a conclusion to this collection, drawing on its empirical contributions as well as other examples of European Union (EU) foreign policy. We take the pursuit of a single voice as a core goal of EU foreign policy and ask under what conditions unity pays and conversely under what conditions it may be counterproductive. On this basis, we offer a systematic critique of the 'one voice mantra' correlating 'EU unity' and 'EU influence' in the global arena. We do so by distinguishing between, internally, the degree of convergence of interest between member states and, externally, the type of power relevant in the game being played. Only when interests converge and the external game is one where aggregative power matters is it plausible to assume that the pursuit of one EU voice serves the EU's interests. At least in some cases, EU unity is not a prerequisite for EU influence, and diversity can be a source of strength rather than weakness, internally as well. © 2014 Taylor & Francis.

Author-supplied keywords

  • Actorness
  • European Union
  • external action
  • foreign policy
  • one voice

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Authors

  • Gjovalin Macaj

  • Kalypso Nicolaïdis

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