The Uncertain Legacy of Crisis

27/02/2014, Rome

"The European Union is in the midst of the worst crisis of the last decades, an internal crisis that is affecting the development of a coherent foreign policy, forcing European countries to change their geostrategic approaches. But, after all, we must keep in mind that Europe has always improved in times of crisis," declared Richard Youngs, professor of international relations at the University of Warwick and senior associate at the Carnegie Europe Center.

Youngs was the at the IAI in Rome to present and talk about his book, "The uncertain legacy of crisis - European foreign policy faces the future", which examines the effects of the crisis on EU countries and its implications for the EU's external role and power .

"The value of European exports, from the beginning to the end of the crisis, has dropped by 30%. The EU is still the largest exporter in the world, but the drop has been heavy, and prospects for the future are not so good. In 2010,” continued Youngs, “European spending on defense was the lowest among the major global powers. This has greatly reduced the ‘soft power’ of the Union, which is facing an international scenario that is completely different from that of 10 years ago. There are important new players that require new strategies. Europe must understand that."

In his book , Richard Youngs proposes new diplomatic, political and economic strategies that the EU should implement to break the stalemate in which it is locked: central is the concept of "multi-polar liberalism": a multilateral and liberal approach to global security and politics, played out in a more rational , instrumental and selective way, trying to respect a global landscape that has changed completely. This strategy proposed by Youngs aims at resetting the identity of the EU through four main measures :

1 ) reappropriation of the role of the EU as a power capable of imposing standards and norms;
2 ) overcoming the logic of Europeanization as synonymous with liberalisation;
3 ) increasing cooperation with emerging democracies on global issues;
4) revitalizing the transatlantic relationship.

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