Pax or Pox Europeana after the Lisbon Treaty?
The time is nigh for the EU to think more strategically about its global role. This is suggested by the confluence of changes in the international system itself and the internal changes introduced by the Lisbon Treaty. When approached via a geopolitical prism, the EU’s main interests lie in its neighbourhood, to the east and south, central Asia and the Gulf. These are regions where the EU enjoys the most influence. The EU should therefore engage with other international actors, both traditional and emerging, in an intensified dialogue concentrating in particular on these areas. A Union with a clearer idea of what it is trying to accomplish on the world stage, backed by the means and determination to succeed, could herald a regional pax Europeana, while a continuation of the EU’s current drift will condemn it to increasing irrelevance - a pox Europeana.