Which role for the EU in international relations?
The first of a series of two workshops organized by Istituto Affari Internazionali (IAI) and LUISS School of Government (SOG) entitled ‘Which role should the EU play in international relations? Understanding the post-Lisbon foreign policy at times of change’ took place at LUISS University campus on March 2nd. The event saw the participation of Alfredo Conte, Head of the Strategic Planning Division at the European External Action Service (EEAS); Nathalie Tocci, Deputy Director of IAI and Special Advisor to the EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy (HR); and Raffaele Marchetti, Assistant Professor at LUISS University, as moderator. The workshop focused on the establishment of the EEAS and of the HR, and it attempted to assess their contribution to the development of the EU’s role in international relations. Several challenges faced by both the EEAS and the HR were stressed, including the complexity of creating new institutional structures, the rising trend towards re-nationalization of foreign policy and the emergence and consolidation of cross-cutting cleavages within the EU. At the same time, the political results achieved so far were also pointed out, among which the prominence gained by the EU in the Middle East Peace Process and the role played by the EU in the negotiations between Serbia and Kosovo as well as in the negotiations with Iran. In conclusion, it was suggested that the EU’s foreign policy should undergo a strategic review process in order to fully develop the potential created by structures such as the EEAS and the HR.