The European Union and the New World Order

Prof. Dr. Tarık OĞUZLU
24 September 2014
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As the dynamics of the global world order have been changing profoundly over the last decade, the position that the European Union, and its members states, adopt in this process will have a huge impact on the end result. The EU, with its 28 member states, over 500 million people and nearly one quarter of the global wealth, has been one of the key actors in world politics. The EU would certainly gain from the new world order, if the foundational principles and norms of its integration process, as well as the values its habitants embrace, were to be shared to a significant extent, if not totally adopted, by other global actors in this regard.


That said, this short brief will concisely analyze the main tenets of the so-called EU model and try to asses to what extent the EU could shape the emerging world order. What are the factors that could potentially facilitate or impede the success of the EU to project its global vision onto others?


The EU Model


The European Union is a sui generis international actor in that it is somewhere between a state on the European scale and a confederation of independent European states. Whether the EU could be characterized as the ‘Europe of United States’ or the ‘United States of Europe’ is still an open ended question inviting possible answers.     


Leaving aside this question for a while, it would suffice to argue that the decades long integration process first among western European states and then involving the former communist states of central and eastern Europe seems to have already resulted in a ‘security community’ on the continent in which war has long been discarded as a legitimate way of resolving interstate disputes, and where the principles of rule of law, respect for minority rights, constitutionalism, pluralism and liberal democracy have been shaping the internal order of member states as well as their relations with external actors.


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