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Constraints, Dilemmas and Challenges for EU Foreign Policy in Venezuela


Years of increasingly authoritarian rule and economic mismanagement by President Nicolás Maduro have turned Venezuela into a source of regional instability. The European Union’s (EU) main foreign policy objective towards the country has been a peaceful transition to free and transparent elections and its re-introduction into regional and global trade and political frameworks. The strategies pursued by the EU to mitigate the constraints on its foreign policy towards Venezuela have helped to bring about more EU unity, but have failed to have a significant impact in the country itself. Multipolar competition between the EU and the United States (US) on the one hand and between the People’s Republic of China (PRC) and Russia on the other, have undermined the EU’s attempts to contribute a peaceful solution to the process. Most recently, the war on Ukraine has created a new dilemma for the EU in its dealings with Venezuela, that is, having to navigate between maintaining pressure on the Maduro regime, keeping up momentum for negotiations and deciding whether to follow the US in resuming oil trade with Caracas to mitigate the energy crisis in Europe.
Keywords: European Foreign and Security Policy; Venezuela; diplomacy; sanctions; multipolarity

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