The parameters of power politics have changed in Europe and the EU exports the rule of law, democracy and human rights worldwide. The criteria for judging the polity’s normative quality may be derived from cosmopolitanism, i.e. whether it subjects its actions to the constraints of a higher ranking law. The author establishes this criteria, its theoretical and institutional underpinnings, and provisionally assesses whether the EU in fact complies with it. We may question whether the EU’s external foreign and security policy is actually consistent with cos- mopolitan tenets but we need an approach that does not rule this out as a logical possibility. We thus need a theoretical approach that does not predetermine the answer to the question of what order is possible as do realism as well as idealism.
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