Entries with label ue .

The always difficult negotiations are made more difficult by the 75 billion euros the UK is giving up.

ANALYSIS / Pablo Gurbindo Palomo

The negotiations for the European budget for the period 2021-2027 are crucial for the future of the Union. After the failure of the extraordinary summit on 20-21 February, time is running out and the member states must put aside their differences in order to reach an agreement on agreement before 31 December 2020.

framework The negotiation of a new European Multiannual Financial Framework (MFF) is always complicated and crucial, as the ambition of the Union depends on the amount of money that member states are willing to contribute. But the negotiation of this new budget line, for the period 2021-2027, has an added complication: it is the first without the United Kingdom after Brexit. This complication does not lie in the absence of the British in the negotiations (for some that is more of a relief) but in the 75 billion euros they have stopped contributing.

What is the MFP?

framework The Multiannual Financial Framework (MFF ) is the EU's long-term budgetary framework deadline and sets the limits for expense of the Union, both as a whole and in its different areas of activity, for a deadline period of no less than 5 years. In addition, the MFF includes a number of provisions and "special instruments" beyond that, so that even in unforeseen circumstances such as crises or emergencies, funds can be used to address the problem. This is why the MFF is crucial, as it sets the political priorities and objectives for the coming years.

This framework is initially proposed by the Commission and, on this basis, the committee (composed of all Member States) negotiates and has to come to a unanimous agreement . After this the proposal is sent to the European Parliament for approval.

The amount that goes to the MFF is calculated from the Gross National Income (GNI) of the Member States, i.e. the sum of the remuneration of the factors of production of all members. But customs duties, agricultural and sugar levies and other revenues such as VAT are also part of it.

Alliances for war

In the EU there are countries that are "net contributors" and others that are "net receivers". Some pay more to the Union than they receive in return, while others receive more than they contribute. This is why countries' positions are flawed when they face these negotiations: some want to pay less money and others do not want to receive less.

Like any self-respecting European war, alliances and coalitions have been formed beforehand.

The Commission 's proposal for the MFF 2021-2027 on 2 May 2018 already made many European capitals nervous. The proposal was 1.11 % of GNI (already excluding the UK). It envisaged budget increases for border control, defence, migration, internal and external security, cooperation with development and research, among other areas. On the other hand, cuts were foreseen in Cohesion Policy (aid to help the most disadvantaged regions of the Union) and the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP).

The Parliament submitted a report provisional on this proposal in which it called for an increase to 1.3% of GNI (corresponding to a 16.7% increase from the previous proposal ). In addition, MEPs called, among other things, for cohesion and agriculture funding to be maintained as in the previous budget framework .

On 2 February 2019 the Finnish Presidency of committee proposed a negotiation framework starting at 1.07% of GNI.

This succession of events led to the emergence of two antagonistic blocs: the frugal club and the friends of cohesion.

The frugal club consists of four northern European countries: Sweden, Denmark, the Netherlands and Austria. These countries are all net contributors and advocate a budget of no more than 1 % of GNI. On the other hand, they call for cuts to be made in what they consider to be "outdated" areas such as cohesion funds or the CAP, and want to increase the budget in other areas such as research and development, defence and the fight against immigration or climate change.

Austrian Chancellor Sebastian Kurz has already announced that he will veto on committee any proposal that exceeds 1 % of GNI.

The Friends of Cohesion comprise fifteen countries from the south and east of the Union: Spain, Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, Cyprus, Estonia, Greece, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Malta, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia and Slovenia. All these countries are net recipients and demand that CAP and cohesion policy funding be maintained, and that the EU's budget be based on between 1.16 and 1.3 % of GNI.

This large group met on 1 February in the Portuguese town of Beja. There they tried to show an image of unity ahead of the first days of the MFP's discussion , which would take place in Brussels on the 20th and 21st of the same month. They also announced that they would block any subject cuts.

It will be curious to see whether, as the negotiations progress, the blocs will remain strong or whether each country will pull in its own direction.

Outside of these two groups, the two big net contributors stand out, pulling the strings of what happens in the EU: Germany and France.

Germany is closer to the frugals in wanting a more austere budget and more money for more modern items such as digitalisation or the fight against climate change. But first and foremost it wants a quick agreement .

France, for its part, is closer to the friends of cohesion in wanting to maintain a strong CAP, but also wants a stronger expense in defence.

The problem of "rebates

And if all these variables were not enough, we have to add the figure of the compensatory cheques or "rebates. These are discounts to a country's contribution to budget. This figure was created in 1984 for the United Kingdom, during the presidency of the conservative Margaret Thatcher. For the "Iron Lady", the amount that her country contributed to budget was excessive, as most of the amount (70%) went to the CAP and the Cohesion Funds, from which the UK hardly benefited. It was therefore agreed that the UK would have certain discounts on its budgetary contribution on a permanent and full basis.

These compensatory cheques have since been given to other net contributor countries, but these had to be negotiated with each MFF and were partial on a specific area such as VAT or contributions. An unsuccessful attempt was already made to eliminate this in 2005.

For the frugal and Germany these cheques should be kept, on civil service examination to the friends of cohesion and especially France, who want them to disappear.

Sánchez seeks his first victory in Brussels

Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez is staking much of his credibility in both Europe and Spain on these negotiations.

In Europe, for many he failed in the negotiations for the new Commission. Sánchez started from a position of strength as the leader of Europe's fourth Economics after the UK's exit. He was also the strongest member of the Socialist group parliamentary , which has been in the doldrums in recent years at the European level, but was the second strongest force in the European Parliament elections. For many, therefore, the election of the Spaniard Josep Borrell as High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, with no other socialist in key positions, was seen as a failure.

Sánchez has the opportunity in the negotiations to show himself as a strong and reliable leader so that the Franco-German axis can count on Spain to carry out the important changes that the Union has to make in the coming years.

On the other hand, in Spain, Sánchez has the countryside up in arms over the prospects of reducing the CAP. And much of his credibility is at stake after his victory in last year's elections and the training of the "progressive coalition" with the support of Podemos and the independentistas. The Spanish government has already taken a stand with farmers, and cannot afford a defeat.

Spanish farmers are highly dependent on the CAP. According to the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food: "in 2017, a total of 775,000 recipients received 6,678 million euros through this channel. In the period 2021-2027 we are gambling more than 44,000 million euros."

There are two different types of CAP support:

  • Direct aids: some are granted per volume of production, per crop (so called "coupled"), and the others, the "decoupled" ones, are granted per hectare, not per production or yield and have been criticised by some sectors.

  • Indirect support: this does not go directly to the farmer, but is used for the development of rural areas.

The amount of aid received varies depending on the sector, but can amount to up to 30 % of a farmer's income. Without this aid, a large part of the Spanish countryside and that of other European countries cannot compete with products coming from outside the Union.

Failure of the first budget summit

On 20 and 21 February an extraordinary summit of the European committee took place in order to reach a agreement. It did not start well with the proposal of the president of the committee, Charles Michel, for a budget based on 1.074% of GNI. This proposal convinced nobody, neither the frugal as excessive, nor the friends of cohesion as insufficient.

Michel's proposal included the added complication of linking the submission of aid to compliance with the rule of law. This measure put the so-called Visegrad group (Hungary, Poland, Czech Republic and Slovakia) on guard, as the rule of law in some of these countries is being called into question from the west of the Union. So, another group is taking centre stage.

The Commission's technical services made several proposals to try to make everyone happy. The final one was 1.069% of GNI. Closer to 1%, and including an increase in rebates for Germany, the Netherlands, Sweden, Austria and Denmark, to please the frugal and attract the Germans. But also an increase in the CAP to please the friends of cohesion and France, at the cost of reducing other budget items such as funding for research, defence and foreign affairs.

But the blocs did not budge. The frugal ones remain entrenched at 1%, and the friends of cohesion in response have decided to do the same, but at the 1.3% proposed by the European Parliament (even if they know it is unrealistic).

In the absence of agreement Michel dissolved the meeting; it is expected that talks will take place in the coming weeks and another summit will be convened.


The EU has a problem: its ambition is not matched by the commitment of its member states. The Union needs to reinvent itself and be more ambitious, say its members, but when it comes down to it, few are truly willing to contribute and deliver what is needed.

The Von der Leyen Commission arrived with three star plans: the European Green Pact to make Europe the first carbon-neutral continent; digitalisation; and, under Josep Borrell, greater international involvement on the part of the Union. However, as soon as the budget negotiations began and it became clear that this would lead to an increase in the expense, each country pulled in its own direction, and it was these subject proposals that were the first to fall victim to cuts due to the impossibility of reaching an understanding.

A agreement has to be reached by 31 December 2020, if there is to be no money at all: neither for CAP, nor for rebates, nor even for Erasmus.

Member States need to understand that for the EU to be more ambitious they themselves need to be more ambitious and willing to be more involved, with the increase in budget that this entails.

Categories Global Affairs: European Union World order, diplomacy and governance Analysis

With the agreement reached between the EU and Johnson and the polls favorable to Johnson in the December 12 election, a possible end to Brexit is in sight.

Installation against Brexit, during a protest in Manchester in 2017 [Robert Mandel, Wikimedia Commons].

▲ Installation against Brexit, during a protest in Manchester in 2017 [Robert Mandel, Wikimedia Commons].

COMMENT / Pablo Gurbindo

Since June 23, 2016, the date on which the referendum on the United Kingdom remaining in the European Union was held, the British exit has overshadowed any other topic, such as the momentous past European elections, and has caused the British political spectrum to split between those who support remaining and those who support leaving.

 The "Brexit" has also taken two prime ministers by surprise: David Cameron, after the referendum, and his successor, Theresa May, who left the position after failing to get her agreement reached with the EU to be C by the British Parliament. And it may be her successor, Boris Johnson, the controversial former Mayor of London who campaigned for the vote to leave the Union, who manages to lead his country out of these more than three years of uncertainty.

Johnson's arrival at 10 Downing Street caused great concern in European capitals. From the outset, he stated that he would get his country out of the European Union, with or without agreement , before October 31. And, in September, he did not hesitate to temporarily fail the Parliament so that the civil service examination could not veto a possible exit without agreement. This closure was declared illegal by the Supreme Court and the civil service examination managed to ensure that the hypothetical exit without agreement could only be agreed by Parliament. Despite all this, negotiations in Brussels did not stop and, on October 17, it was announced that an agreement had been reached. agreement.

The agreement reached is, to a large extent, similar to the one reached with Theresa May. The main change has been the Irish "safeguard", the section most criticized at the time by the civil service examination and by the hardest wing of the "Tories". This measure implied that, if the European Union and the United Kingdom did not reach a agreement by 2020, Northern Ireland would remain in the single market and the customs union, while the rest of the United Kingdom would leave.

This system provoked a great rejection, especially in the Democratic Unionist Party (DUP). On this Northern Irish Unionist party, May and still Johnson, depended and depend to be able to approve the agreement in the British Parliament. This concern about the new border between the two Irelands responds to the risk it poses to the Good Friday Agreements. Thanks to these agreements, peace was restored to Northern Ireland, which in the last century was at loggerheads between Catholic groups, who advocated unification with Ireland, and Protestant unionists, who advocated maintaining ties with the United Kingdom. The breakdown of these agreements could lead to the return of violence to the island.

agreement reached

This new agreement on Northern Ireland, proposed by Johnson, is based on three main elements, as indicated by the European Union's Brexit negotiator, Frenchman Michel Barnier:

(1) Northern Ireland will continue to comply with certain EU customs rules, especially those related to goods and products. But, in order to avoid any subject border with Ireland, checks will only be carried out on goods arriving at Northern Irish ports. These checks will be carried out by the British in compliance with EU rules.

(2) However, it will continue to be part of the British Customs Union, so any trade agreement reached by the United Kingdom after Brexit will include Northern Ireland. The problem is that these two elements conflict: Northern Ireland would be part of the British customs unions as well as the EU customs unions. In order to solve the problem that this "customs bicephaly" could produce, products from third countries - which will not then move to another country in the common market - will be taxed at UK rates. However, if the products are likely to enter the common market, the UK authorities will apply the EU tariffs.

(3) Finally, the agreement with Johnson will be a permanent agreement unless the Northern Ireland Assembly decides otherwise. The agreement enables this body to vote on whether to maintain or abandon the agreed status once four years have elapsed since the protocol comes into force. In the event that they ratify the agreement it will be extended by four or eight years, depending on whether it is a simple majority or whether it has majority support (with the support of the Protestant and Catholic communities). Otherwise, European laws will continue to apply for two more years, during which time the EU and the UK will have to reach a new agreement.

Extension and call for elections

After the advertisement of the agreement reached, the most complicated part remained: ratifying it in the British Parliament, and in record time, since the deadline was October 31. Johnson was forced by Parliament to ask Brussels for an extension until January 31, 2020, contrary to his wishes to keep his promise to leave on October 31. This request was not without controversy as Johnson sent two letters: one asking for the extension, which he did not sign, and another signed in which he expressed that he would see the extension as a "mistake" and that it would be "deeply corrosive" to his country.

On October 29, the European committee accepted the extension to January 31, 2020 to allow time for the ratification of the agreement Exit. The United Kingdom could leave the Union earlier, on December 1, 2019 (a date that has already passed) or on January 1, 2020 in the event of ratification of the support by both parties. This extension was unanimously approved by the 27, despite France's reluctance. France argued that this long extension should be granted only if there was certainty that there would be elections in the United Kingdom; otherwise, they advocated a shorter technical extension, to allow time to ratify the agreement Exit.

To carry out the Brexit, Johnson, faced with "parliamentary obstructionism" called for early elections to change the arithmetic of Parliament and to be able to approve the agreement reached with the EU. This call was rejected twice by Jeremy Corbyn's Labour Party, the main party of the civil service examination. But after learning that the European committee accepted the extension, it supported the call.


With elections scheduled for next December 12, the wind seems to be blowing in Johnson's favor. The polls favor him with a percentage of 40% of the vote. Far behind, Labour, with 29%, would lose support to Jo Swinson's Liberal Democrat Party, which would rise to 15% (from 7.4% in the previous election). This rise of the "Lib Dems" would be mainly due to their strong support for remaining in the EU, unlike Corbyn, who has maintained a neutral position despite the fact that 70% of Labour voters support remaining. On the other hand, the Conservative majority would allow the "Tories" to stop depending on the DUP to achieve sufficient parliamentary majorities.

As if that were not enough, the leader of the Brexit Party, Nigel Farage, has announced that in order to facilitate a Conservative majority, his party will not stand in the constituencies where the Conservative Party won in the previous elections. In order to ensure the exit of the United Kingdom from the Union and to avoid a new referendum.

If these polls come true Johnson would get his long-awaited majority to be able to approve the exit.

After more than three years, a plausible end to Brexit is in sight.

Categories Global Affairs: European Union World order, diplomacy and governance Comments

essay / Jairo Císcar Ruiz [English version].

In recent months, the open trade hostilities between the United States of America and the People's Republic of China have dominated the main general headlines and specialized economic publications around the world. The so-called "trade war" between these two superpowers is nothing more than the successive escalation of the imposition of tariffs and special levies on original products and manufactured goods from the countries in confrontation. This, in economic figures, means that the US imposed in 2018 special tariffs on US$250 billion of imported Chinese products (out of a total of US$539 billion), while China for its part imposed tariffs on 110 out of US$120 billion of US import products [1]. These tariffs meant an increase of US$3 billion in additional taxes for American consumers and businesses. This analysis is therefore intended to explain and show the position and future of the European Union in this trade war in a general way.

This small reminder of the figures illustrates the magnitude of the challenge for the global Economics posed by this clash between the world's two economic locomotives. It is not China who is paying the tariffs, as Trump literally said on May 9 during a meeting with journalists [2], but the reality is much more complex, and, evidently, as in the case of the inclusion of Huawei in the trade blacklist (and therefore the prohibition to purchase any item on US soil, whether hardware or software, without a prior agreement with the Administration), which may affect more than 1.200 American companies and hundreds of millions of customers globally according to the BBC [3], the economic war may soon start to be a great burden for Economics globally. On June 2, Pierre Moscovici, European Commissioner for Economic Affairs, predicted that if the confrontation continues, both China and the USA could lose between 5 and 6 tenths of GDP, stressing in particular that "protectionism is the main threat to world growth" [4].

As can be inferred from Moscovici's words, the trade war is not only of concern to the countries directly involved in it, but is closely followed by other actors in international politics, especially the European Union.The European Union is the largest Single Market in the world, this being one of the premises and fundamental pillars of the EU's very existence. But it is no longer focused on internal trade, but is one of the major trading powers for exports and imports, being one of the main voices advocating healthy trade relations that are of mutual benefit to the different economic actors at global and regional level. This openness to business means that 30% of the EU's GDP comes from foreign trade and makes it the main player when it comes to doing import and export business. To illustrate briefly, from agreement with the data of the European Commission [5] in the last year (May 2018-April 2019), the EU made imports worth €2,022 billion (a growth of 7%) and exported 4% more, with a total of €1,987 billion. The trade balance is therefore a negative balance of €35 billion, which, due to the large volume of imports and exports and the nominal GDP of the EU (taking the figure of 18.8 trillion euros) is only 0.18% of the EU's total GDP. The USA was the main place of export from the EU, while China was the first place of import. These data are revealing and interesting: an important part of the EU's Economics depends on business with these two countries and a bad performance of their Economics could weigh down the EU member countries' own.

Another data that illustrates the importance of the EU in subject trade is that of Foreign Direct Investment (FDI). In 2018, 52% of global FDI came from countries within the EU and the EU received 38.5% of total investment globally, leading on both indicators. It can therefore be said that the current trade war may pose a serious problem for the future European Economics , but, as we will see below, the Union can emerge strengthened and even benefit from this status if it manages to mediate well between the difficulties, businesses and strategies of the two countries. But let us first look at the EU's relations with both the US and China.

The US-EU relationship has traditionally been (albeit with ups and downs) the strongest in the international sphere. The United States is the main ally in defense, politics, Economics and diplomacy of the European Union and vice versa. They share the economic, political and cultural model , as well as the main world collective defense organization, NATO. However, in the so-called transatlantic relationship, there have always been clashes, accentuated in the recent times of the Obama Administration and habitual with Trump. With the current Administration, not only have reproaches to the EU arisen within NATO (regarding the failure of member countries to invest the required budget ; shared criticism with the United Kingdom), but a full-fledged tariff war has begun.

In barely two years we have gone from the TTIP (Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership) negotiations, the announced basis for 21st century trade that finally failed in the final stages of Obama in the White House, to the current status of extreme US protectionism and EU response. Particularly illustrative is the succession of events that have taken place in the last year: at the stroke of Twitter, in March 2018 the US unilaterally imposed global tariffs on steel (25%) and aluminum (10%) to protect American industry [6]. These tariffs did not only affect China, they also inflicted great damage on companies in European countries such as Germany. Tariffs of 25% on European vehicles were also in the air. After a harsh climate of mutual reproaches, on July 25, Jean Claude Juncker, President of the European Commission, announced together with Trump a agreement to lower tariffs on agricultural products and services, and the US committed itself to review the imposition of metallurgical tariffs on the EU, as well as to support within the World Trade Organization the European calls for a reform of Intellectual Property laws, which China does not respect [7]. However, after the reiteration of the transatlantic friendship and Trump's advertisement of "we are heading towards zero tariffs" [8], soon the intemperate boxes have been rung again. In April this year, on April 9, Trump announced on Twitter the imposition of tariffs on the EU worth US$11 billion for the EU's support to Airbus (skill of the American Boeing, Lockheed Martin...), blowing up the principle of agreement of July last year. The EU, for its part, threatened to impose tariffs of €19 billion for the US state support to Boeing. As can be seen, the EU, despite its traditional conciliatory role and often subjugated to the US, has decided to fight back and not allow any more outbursts on the American side. The latest threat, in mid-July, is against French wine (and due to the European mechanism, against all wines of European origin, including Spanish wines). This threat has been described as "ridiculous" [9], since the USA consumes more wine than it produces (it is the world's largest consumer) and therefore, the supply available could be considerably reduced.

It is still too early to see the real impact that the trade war is having on the US, beyond the 7.4% drop in US exports to China [10] and the damage that consumers are suffering, but the Nobel laureate of Economics Robert Schiller, in an interview for CNBC [11] and the president of the World Trade Organization, Roberto Azevedo, for the BBC; have already expressed their fears that if status and protectionist policies continue, we could be facing the biggest economic crisis since the end of the Second World War. It is difficult to elucidate what the future relationship between Europe and its main exporter partner , the USA, will be like. All indications are that friction and escalation will continue if the US Administration does not decide to tone down its rhetoric and actions against free trade with Europe. Finally, it must be clear (and in the spirit of lowering the sometimes excessively alarmist tone of the news) that between the threats (either by Twitter or spokespersons) from both sides and the actual imposition of tariffs (in the US after the relevant advertisement from the Office of the US Trade Representative; in the EU through the approval of the 28) there is a long way to go, and we must not confuse potential acts and facts. It is clear that despite the harsh tone, the negotiating teams on both sides of the Atlantic are still at contact and are trying to avoid as far as possible actions detrimental to both sides.

On the other hand, the relationship between China and Europe is frankly different from the one with the USA. The Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) (to which Italy has formally adhered) is the confirmation of China's bid to be the next leader of the world's Economics . Through this initiative, President Xi Jinping aims to redistribute and streamline trade flows to and from China by land and sea. To this end, the stability of South Asian countries such as Pakistan and Afghanistan is vital, as is the ability to control vital maritime traffic points such as the Strait of Malacca and the South China Sea. The Asian "dragon" has an internal status that favors its growth (6.6% of its GDP in 2018 which, being the worst figure for 30 years, is still an overwhelming figure), as the relative efficiency of its authoritarian system and, especially, the great support of the State to companies boost its growth, as well as possessing the largest foreign currency reserves, especially dollars and euros, which allow a great stability of the country's Economics . The Chinese currency, the Renminbi, has been declared by the IMF as a world currency reservation , which is another indicator of the good health that is predicted for the future of the Chinese Economics .

For the EU, China is a competitor, but also a strategic partner and a negotiator partner [12]. China is the EU's main importer partner , accounting for 20.2% of imports (€395 billion) and 10.5% of exports (€210 billion). The volume of imports is such that, although the vast majority reach the European continent by sea, there is a railway connection that, under the BRI, links the entire Eurasian continent, from China's manufacturing capital, Yiwu, and the last stop at the southernmost tip of Europe, Madrid. Although some of the imports are still so-called "low-end" goods, i.e. products of basic manufacture and cheap unit price, since China joined the WTO at entrance in December 2001, the concept of material produced in China has changed radically: the great abundance of rare earths in Chinese territory, together with the progress in its industrialization and investment in new technologies (in which China is a leader) have meant that China is no longer thought of only as a mass producer of bazaars; on the contrary, the majority of imports into the EU from China were high-end, high-tech machinery and products (especially telecommunications and processing equipment from data).

In the aforementioned statement press release from the European Commission, China is warned to comply with the commitments made in the Kyoto Protocols and Paris Agreements regarding greenhouse gas emissions; and urges the Asian country to respect the dictates of the WTO, especially in subject on technology transfer, state subsidies and illegal practices such as dumping.

These aspects are vital for economic relations with China. At a time when most countries in the world signed or are part of the Paris Agreements for the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions, while the EU is making efforts to reduce its pollution (closing coal plants and mines; putting special taxes on energy obtained from non-renewable sources...), China, which totals 30% of global emissions, increased in 2018 by 3% its emissions. This, beyond the harmful effects for the climate, has industrial and economic benefits: while in Europe industries are narrowing their profit margins due to the rise in energy prices; China, which is fueled by coal, provides cheaper energy to its companies, which, without active restrictions, can produce more. An example of how the climate affects economic relations with China is the recent advertisement [13] of AcerlorMittal to reduce by 3 million tons its total steel production in Europe (out of 44 million tons of usual production) due to high electricity costs and increased imports from countries outside the EU (especially China) which, with excess production, are lowering prices worldwide. This internship, which is especially used in China, consists in flooding the market with an overproduction of a certain product (this overproduction is paid with government subsidies) to lower prices. As of December 2018, in the last 3 years, the EU has had to impose more than 116 sanctions and anti-dumping measures against Chinese products [14]. Which sample that, despite the EU's attempts to negotiate on mutually satisfactory terms, China does not comply with the stipulations of the agreements with the EU and the WTO. Particularly thorny is the problem with government-controlled companies (a ban on 5G networks in Europe, controlled by Chinese providers, is being considered for security reasons), which have a virtual monopoly inside the country; and above all, the distorted reading of legality by the Chinese authorities, who try to use all possible mechanisms in their favor, making it difficult or hindering direct investment by foreign capital in their country, as well as imposing requirements (need to have Chinese partners, etc.) that hinder the international expansion of small and medium-sized companies. However,

The biggest friction with the EU, however, is the forced transfer of technology to the government, especially by companies of strategic products such as hydrocarbons, pharmaceuticals and the automotive industry [15], imposed by laws and conditio sine qua non companies cannot land in the country. This creates a climate of unfair skill and direct attack on international trade laws. The direct investment of Chinese capital in critical industries and producers in the EU has caused voices to be raised calling for greater control and even vetoes on these investments in certain areas due to Defense and Security issues. The lack of protection of intellectual rights or patents are also important points of complaint by the EU, which aims to create through diplomacy and international organizations a favorable climate for the promotion of equal trade relations between the two countries, as reflected in the various European guidelines and plans concerning topic.

As we have seen, the trade war is not only limited to the US and China, but third parties are suffering from it and even actively participating in it. The question arises here: can the EU benefit in any way and avoid a new crisis? Despite the pessimistic mood, the EU can derive multiple benefits from this trade war if it manages to maneuver properly and avoid as far as possible further tariffs against its products and keeps the market open. If the trade war continues and the positions of the US and China harden, the EU, being partner the main beneficiary of both, could benefit from a redistribution of trade flows. Thus, to avoid the loss due to tariffs, both China and the US could sell heavily taxed products to the European market, but especially import products from Europe. If a agreement is reached with the US to lift or minimize tariffs, the EU would find itself facing a huge market niche left by Chinese products vetoed or taxed in the US. The same in China, especially in the automotive sector, from which the EU could benefit by selling to the Chinese market. Alicia Garcia-Herrero, of the Belgian think tank Bruegel, states that the benefit for Europe will only be possible if it does not lean towards any of the contenders and remains economically neutral [16]. He also stresses, like the European Commission, that China must adopt measures to guarantee reciprocity and market access, since the European Union still has a greater volume of business and investments with the USA, so that the Chinese offer should be highly attractive for European producers to consider directing products to China instead of the USA. The UN itself estimates at US$70 billion the benefits that could be absorbed by the EU thanks to the trade war [17]. Definitely, if the right measures are taken and the 28 draw up an adequate road map, the EU could benefit from this war, without forgetting that, as the EU itself advocates, coercive measures are not the solution to the trade problem, and hopes that, due to their ineffectiveness and damage caused to both consumers and producers, the tariff war will come to an end and, if differences persist, they will be resolved in the WTO Appellate Body, or in the Permanent Court of Arbitration of the United Nations.

This trade war is a highly complex and nuanced topic ; this analysis has attempted to address many of the issues, data and problems facing the European Union in this trade war. It has been generally analyzed what the trade war consists of, as well as the relations between the EU, China and the USA. We are facing a gray future, with the possibility of multiple and quick turns (especially on the part of the US, as seen after the G20 summit in Osaka, after which it has allowed the sale of components to Huawei, but has not removed the company from its blacklist) and from which, if the requirements and the conditions set out above are met, the EU will definitely benefit, not only economically, but if it remains united and making a common front, it will be an example of negotiation and economic freedom for the whole world.



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11. Rosenfeld, E. & Soong, M. (25-3-2018) Nobel-winner Robert Shiller warns of an 'economic crisis' from trade war threats. CNBC. Retrieved from.

12. EU reviews relations with China and proposes 10 actions. (12-3-2019) European Commission- statement de Prensa.

13. Asturias takes 23% of Arcelor's new EU production cut.(6-5-2019) 5 Days Retrieved from.

14. Morales, R. (26-12-2018) EU increased 28.3% its antidumping measures in 3 years: WTO. El Economista Mexico. Retrieved from

15. Warning about forced technology transfer to Chinese government.(20-5-2019) Infobae. Retrieved from

16. García-Herrero, A.; Guardans, I. & Hamilton, C. (28-6-2018) Trade War Trinity: analysis of global consequences. Bruegel (lecture). Retrieved from.

17. European Union, the big beneficiary of the trade war between China and the U.S.(4-2-2019) UN News . Retrieved from

Categories Global Affairs: European Union North America Asia EconomicsTrade and Technology Testing

essay / Lucía Serrano Royo

Currently, some 60 million people are forcibly displaced in the world (Arenas-Hidalgo, 2017). [1] The figures become more significant if it is observed that more than 80% of migratory flows are directed to developing countries development, while only 20% have as goal developed countries, which in turn have more means and wealth, and would be more suitable to receive these migratory flows.

In 2015, Europe welcomed 1.2 million people, which was an unprecedented magnitude since the Second World War. This status has led to an intense discussion on solidarity and responsibility among Member States.

The way in which this subject has been legislated in the European Union has given rise to irregularities in its application among the different States. This subject within the European Union system is a shared skill of the area of freedom, security and justice. The Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (TFEU) in its article 2.2 and 3 establishes that in these competences, it is the States that must legislate insofar as the Union does not exercise its skill. This has given rise to a partial development and inequalities.

development legislative

The figure of refugees is reflected for the first time in an international document in the Geneva Convention relating to the Status of Refugees (1951) and its 1967 protocol . (UNHCR: The UN Refugee Agency, 2017)[2]. Despite this breakthrough, the treatment of refugees was different in each Member State, as their national policy was dealt with. Therefore, in an attempt to harmonize national policies, the Dublin agreement was signed in 1990. However, it was not until the Treaty of Amsterdam in May 1999, when it was established as goal to create an area of freedom, security and justice, treating the subject immigration and asylum as a shared skill . Already in October 1999, the European committee held a special session for the creation of an area of freedom, security and justice in the European Union, concluding with the need to create a Common European Asylum System (CEAS) (CIDOB, 2017)[3]. Finally, these policies in subject of asylum become subject common with the Lisbon Treaty and its development in the TFEU.

Currently, its raison d'être is set out in Article 67 et seq. of the TFEU, which states that the Union shall constitute an area of freedom, security and justice with respect for fundamental rights and the different legal systems and traditions of the Member States. This area shall also guarantee the absence of controls on persons at internal borders. Furthermore, it is established that the EU will develop a common policy on asylum, immigration and external border control (art 67.2 TFEU) based on solidarity between Member States, which is fair towards third-country nationals. But the area of freedom, security and justice is not a watertight compartment in the treaties, but has to be interpreted in the light of other sections.

This skill should be analyzed, on the one hand, under the framework of free movement of persons within the European Union, and on the other hand, taking into account the financial field. As regards the free movement of persons, article 77 TFEU must be applied, which calls on the Union to develop a policy ensuring the total absence of checks on persons at internal borders, while guaranteeing checks at external borders. To this end, the European Parliament and the committee, in accordance with the ordinary legislative procedure , must establish a common policy on visas and other short-stay permits residency program , controls and conditions under which third-country nationals may move freely within the Union. As regards the financial sphere, account must be taken of article 80 TFEU, which establishes the principle of solidarity in asylum, immigration and control policies, taking into account the fair sharing of responsibility among Member States.

Furthermore, a fundamental aspect for the development of this subject has been the harmonization of the term refugee by the Union, defining it as third-country nationals or stateless persons who are outside their home country and are unwilling or unable to return to it due to a well-founded fear of being persecuted on account of their race, religion, nationality or opinion (, 2017)[4]. This is of particular importance because these are the characteristics necessary to acquire refugee status, which in turn is necessary to obtain asylum in the European Union.

status in Europe

Despite the legislative development , the response in Europe to the humanitarian crisis following the outbreak of the Syrian conflict, together with the upsurge of conflicts in Iraq, Afghanistan, Eritrea or Somalia, has been very ineffective, which has shaken the system.

The decision to grant or withdraw refugee status belongs to each State's internal authorities and may therefore differ from one State to another. What the European Union does is to guarantee common protection and ensure that asylum seekers have access to fair and efficient asylum procedures. This is why the EU is trying to establish a coherent system for decision making in this regard by the Member States, developing rules on the whole process of application asylum. In addition, in the event that the person does not meet the requirements criteria for refugee status, but is in a status sensitive situation due to risk of serious harm in case of return to his or her country, he or she is entitled to subsidiary protection. The principle of non-refoulement applies to these persons, i.e. they have the right first and foremost not to be taken to a country where there is a risk to their lives.

The problem with this system is that Turkey and Lebanon alone host 10 times more refugees than the whole of Europe, which up to 2016 only processed 813,599 asylum applications. Specifically, Spain granted protection to 6,855 applicants, of which 6,215 were Syrians[5]; despite the increase compared to previous years, the figures were still the lowest in the European environment.

Many of the people who disembark in Greece or Italy, set off again towards the Balkans through Yugoslavia and Serbia to Hungary, in view of the deficiencies of management and the precarious conditions they found in these host countries.

In an attempt to implement the principle of solidarity and cooperation, a series of quotas were established in 2015 to alleviate the humanitarian crisis and the pressure established in Greece and Italy. Member states were to share 120,000 asylum seekers, and all countries were to abide by it. The main stakeholder was Germany. Another mechanism that was set up was a fund with position to the Refugee Mechanism in Turkey, to meet the needs of refugees hosted in that country. The Commission allocated a total amount of €2.2 billion, and budgeted €3 billion in 2016-2017[6].

Faced with this status countries have reacted differently within the Union. In contrast to countries such as Germany, which is looking for a way to combat aging and population reduction in its state through the entrance of refugees, other Member States are reluctant to implement the policies. Even in some EU countries, nationalist parties are gaining strength and support: in the Netherlands, Geert Wilders (Freedom Party); in France, Marine Le Pen (National Front); and in Germany, Frauke Petry (Alternative for Germany party). Although these parties are not the main political force in these countries, this reflects the dissatisfaction of part of the population with the entrance of refugees in the States. The case of the United Kingdom is also noteworthy, since one of the causes of Brexit was the desire to regain control over the entrance of immigrants in the country. In addition, the United Kingdom initially opted out of the quota system applied in the other Member States. As confirmed in her negotiations, Prime Minister Theresa May prioritizes the rejection of immigration over free trade in the EU.

Specific mechanisms for development of the ESLJ

The borders between the different countries of the Union have become blurred. With the Schengen border code and the Community code on visas, borders have been opened and integrated, thus allowing the free movement of people. The operation of these systems has required the establishment of common rules on the entrance of persons and the control of visas, since once the external border of the EU has been crossed, controls are minimal. Therefore, documentation checks vary depending on the places of origin of the recipients, with a more detailed control for non-EU citizens. Only exceptionally is there provision for the reintroduction of internal border controls (for a maximum period of thirty days), in the event of a serious threat to public order and internal security.

Since the control of external borders depends on the States where they are located, systems such as Frontex 2004 have been created, from the ad hoc Border Control Centers established in 1999, which provides financial aid to the States in the control of the external borders of the EU, mainly to those countries that suffer great migratory pressures (, 2017) [7]. The Internal Security Fund, a financial support system emerged in 2014 and aimed at strengthening external borders and visas, has also been created.

Another active mechanism is the Common European Asylum System (CEAS), to strengthen the cooperation of EU countries, where theoretically Member States should allocate 20% of the available resources[8]. For its implementation, the Asylum, Migration and Integration Fund (AMIF) (2014-2020) was established necessary for promote the effectiveness of the management of migration flows. In addition, an asylum policy for the European Union has been established in the CEAS, which includes a directive on asylum procedures and a directive on reception conditions. The Dublin Regulation, from agreement with the Geneva Convention, is integrated into this system. It is a fundamental mechanism and although this system has been simplified, unified and clarified, it has caused more controversy at subject of refugees. It was established to streamline asylum application processes in the 32 countries that apply the Regulation. Under this law, only one country is manager of the examination of its application: the country that takes the refugee's fingerprints, i.e., the first one he or she arrived in and applied for international protection. This works regardless of whether the person travels to or seeks asylum in another country; the competent country is the one in which the refugee was first fingerprinted. This system relies on EURODAC, as it is a central system that financial aid EU Member States to determine the country manager to examine an asylum application by comparing fingerprints.

The committee European Refugees and Exiles has highlighted the two main problems of this system: on the one hand, it leads refugees to travel clandestinely and dangerously until they reach their destination country, in order to avoid being fingerprinted by a country other than the one in which they want to settle. On the other hand, Greece and Italy, which are the main destinations of migrant flows, cannot cope with the burden this system imposes on them to process the masses of people arriving on their territory in search of protection.

Cases before the EU Court of Justice

The Court of Justice of the European Union has ruled on various aspects relating to immigration and the treatment of refugees by the Member States. On some occasions the Court has remained steadfast in the application of the homogeneous rules and regulations of the Union, while in other cases the Court has left the matter to the discretion of the different Member States. 

The court ruled in favor of a joint action in the case of a third country national (Mr. El Dridi) who illegally entered Italy without permission from residency program. On May 8, 2004 the Prefect of Turin issued against him a decree of expulsion. The CJEU (CJEU, 28 April 2011)[9] ruled that despite the fact that an immigrant is in status illegally and remains in the territory of the referred Member State without just cause, even with the concurrence of an infringement of an order to leave the said territory in a given deadline , the State cannot impose a prison sentence, since following Directive 2008/115, they exclude the criminal skill of the Member States in the field of illegal immigration and irregular status . Thus, the States must adjust their legislation to ensure compliance with EU law.

On the other hand, the court leaves it up to the States to decide to send back to a third country an immigrant who has applied for international protection on its territory, if it considers that this country meets the criteria of a "safe third country". Even the court ruled (CJEU, December 10, 2013) [10]that, in order to streamline the processing of asylum applications and to avoid obstruction of the system, the Member State retains its prerogative in exercising the right to grant asylum regardless of which Member State manager of the examination of a application. This School leaves a large margin of appreciation to the States. Homogeneity in this case can only be seen in the case of systematic shortcomings of the asylum procedure and of the conditions of reception of asylum seekers in that State, or degrading treatment.

For a more active attitude

The European Union has established a multitude of mechanisms, and has skill to set them in motion, but its passivity and the reluctant attitude of the Member States in welcoming refugees call into question the unity of the European Union system and the freedom of movement that characterizes the EU itself. The status it faces is complex, as there is a humanitarian crisis arising from the flow of migrants in need of financial aid at its borders. Meanwhile, States are passive and even against improving the system, to the point that some States have proposed the restoration of internal border controls (El Español, 2017).[11] This status has been caused mainly by a lack of effective control over their borders within the Union, and on the other hand by a society that sample wary of open borders because of insecurity.

The refugee crisis is a real problem and closing the borders will not make the problem go away. This is why European countries should adopt a common and active perspective. The earmarking of funds serves as financial aid in this humanitarian crisis, but it is not the only solution. One of the main unresolved problems is the status of people in refugee camps, who are in precarious conditions and should be received in a dignified manner. The Union should react more actively to these situations, making use of its skill in subject of asylum and immigration arrivals with massive influx, as stated in art 78 TFEU c).

This status remains one of the main objectives for the diary of the European Union since the White Paper establishes the reinforcement of the diary Migration, actions on the refugee crisis and aspects on the population crisis in Europe. It advocates for an increase in immigration policies and protection of legal immigration, while combating illegal immigration, helping both immigrants and the European population (European Commission, 2014) [12]. Despite these positive plans and perspectives, it is necessary to take into account the delicate status that the EU is facing internally, with cases such as the withdrawal of a State with power within the Union (the Brexit), which could lead to a diversion in the efforts of community policies, leaving aside crucial issues, such as the status of refugees.


[1] Arenas-Hidalgo, N. (2017). Massive population flows and security. The refugee crisis in the Mediterranean. [online] [Accessed 9 Jul. 2017].

[2] UNHCR: The UN Refugee Agency (2017) Who is a Refugee? [online] [Accessed 10 Jul. 2017]

[3] CIDOB. (2017). CIDOB - Refugee policy in the European Union. [online] [Accessed 10 Jul. 2017].

[4] (2017). EUR-Lex - l33176 - EN - EUR-Lex. [online] Available [Accessed 10 Jul. 2017].

[6] Anon, (2017). [online] [Accessed 11 Jul. 2017].

[7] (2017). Frontex | Origin. [online] [Accessed 12 Jul. 2017].

[8] [Accessed 12 Jul. 2017].

[9] Court of Justice of the European Union [online]. ECLI:EU:C:2011:268, dated 28 April 2011 [accessed 10 June 2017].

[10] Court of Justice of the European Union [online].ECLI:EU:C:2013:813, of10 December 2013 [accessed 10 June 2017].

[11] El Español (2017). European border controls may squander a third of growth. [online] [Accessed 11 Jul. 2017].

[12] European Commission (2014). Migration and asylum.

Categories Global Affairs: European Union World order, diplomacy and governance Essays

essay/ Marianna McMillan

I. Introduction

On 31 March 2016, the High Representative of the EU, Federica Mogherini, presented the new cultural diplomacy platform, which goal is to enhance visibility and understanding of the Union through intercultural dialogue. The fact that all influential actors are committed to this platform (from a top-down, bottom-up perspective), means that we need to reconsider three EU factors: (1) the context in which it operates; (2) the domestic constraints it has to address, and (3) the foreign policy it aspires to. However, the EU wants to give a single cultural image, with a single voice that is consistent with its policies; That is why, first and foremost, the EU must uphold its motto 'unity in diversity'. This motto signifies the integration of national cultures into other countries, without this integration endangering the different national identities of the member states. Consequently, in its status as an international actor and regional organisation, the EU is lacking in intercultural dialogue and negotiation between identities (European External Action Service, 2017). For this reason, it must strive both in one and in the other (intercultural dialogue and the negotiation between identities) to face threats to European security such as terrorism, cyber-insecurity, energy insecurity or identity ambiguity.

The goal The aim of this analysis is, on the one hand, to understand the importance of culture as an instrument of soft power, and on the other hand, to reflect on the influence of culture as the theoretical foundation of the new European cultural platform.

II. Unity in diversity through the New Cultural Diplomacy Platform

If the European Union aspires to be a liberal order based on cooperation, then to what extent can the EU be globally influential? What is undeniable is that it lacks a single voice and a coherent common foreign policy.

The fact that the EU lacks a single voice is result of the course of integration throughout history, an integration that has been based more on diversity and not so much on equality. On the other hand, the assertion about the incoherence of the common foreign policy makes reference letter to all those cases in which, in the face of a coordination problem, what was agreed in the 1992 Maastricht Treaty takes precedence (Banús, 2015: 103-105 and Art. 6, TFEU): the competences may be of the member states, of the EU or they may be shared competences

As a result of the acceleration of globalisation, the increase in non-traditional security threats (international terrorism, energy vulnerability, irregular migratory flows, cyber threats or climate change) the idea of a common foreign policy between member states and the EU is challenged. Such threats demand not only a new paradigm of security, but also a new paradigm of coexistence. This paradigm shift would allow the EU to have a greater capacity to reduce radicalisation and to direct coexistence towards the needs of civil societies (see European Commission, 2016). By way of illustration of the new paradigm, we can name the promotion of narratives of a shared cultural heritage that financial aid to the regional integration process. However, at the same time that initiatives such as the above are implemented, scepticism towards immigrants is growing and narratives contrary to the EU narrative projected by the EU are being promoted. These institutional and structural constraints – diversity and shared competences – reflect the dynamics of the cultural landscape and their unintended consequences within the EU. They also give a glimpse of the project European identity as a process of integration (unity in diversity) and European identity as a single voice. Therefore, the EU, as an international actor and regional organisation, based on unity in diversity, has a need to establish an intercultural dialogue and a negotiation of shared identities from within its organisation (EEAS, 2017). This would serve not only to establish favourable conditions for Brussels' policies, but also as an instrument or means for the EU to counter non-traditional and external threats, such as terrorism, populist narratives, cyber threats, energy insecurity and identity ambiguity.

Regarding the difficulty in distinguishing internal constraints and external threats, Federica Mogherini established the New Cultural Diplomacy Platform (NPC) in 2016.

With the goal to clarify the terminology Previously used, 'cultural diplomacy' is understood as a 'balance of power' according to the approach realistic and as a "reflective balance" from a approach (Triandafyllidou & Szucs, 2017). On the one hand, the approach realist understands cultural diplomacy as a subject of dialogue that serves to advance and protect national interests abroad (e.g. joint European cultural events or bilateral programmes, such as film festivals, support for the strengthening of Tunisia's cultural sector, the creation of European cultural houses, the Culture and Creativity, Communication and Culture programme for the development in the Southern Mediterranean region, and the NPC).  On the other hand, the approach Conceptually, more reflectively, he understands cultural diplomacy as a policy in itself. The potential of cultural synergies is fostered for a development social and economic sustainability through individuals (e.g. cultural exchanges such as Erasmus Plus, the Instrument for Promoting and Developing Countries). development and Cooperation and its subprogrammes, the European Instrument for Democracy and Human Rights (EIDHR), the ENI Cross Border Cooperation and the Civil Society Facility). The application of cultural diplomacy to the EU seeks to have global visibility and influence, and on the other hand, seeks to promote economic growth and social cohesion through civil societies (Trobbiani, 2017: 3-5).

Despite being funded by the Partnership Instrument (PI), which has as its goal to promote visibility and understanding of the EU, the NPC is a balance between the approach realistic and the approach (European Commission, 2016b). Consequently, it is a resilience strategy that responds to a new reality (resilience is understood in terms of inclusiveness, prosperity and security of society). In this reality, non-traditional security threats have emerged and in which there has been a change in the position of citizens, who have gone from being independent observers, to being active participants demanding a constructive dialogue involving all stakeholders: national governments, international organizations and civil societies (Higgot, 2017:6-8 and EU, 2016).

The 2016 Global Strategy seeks pluralism, coexistence and respect by "deepening the work In the Education, culture and youth" (EU, 2016). In other words, the platform invests in Structures creative organizations, such as think tanks, cultural institutes, or local artists, to preserve a cultural identity, advance economic prosperity, and enhance soft power.

By seeking global understanding and visibility, we see how the EU's interest in international cultural relations (ICR) and cultural diplomacy (CD) has grown. This, in turn, reflects the EU's internal need for a single voice and a common foreign policy. This effort demonstrates the fundamental role of culture in soft power, thus creating a connection between culture and external power. Perhaps the most appropriate question is: to what extent can Mogherini's NCP turn culture into a tool soft power? And are the strategies – ICR and NCP – a communication and a model effective coordination in the face of internal and external security threats, or will it inevitably undermine their narrative of unity in diversity?

III. Culture and Soft Power

The change in the concept of security requires a revisit of the concept of soft power. In this case, cultural diplomacy must be understood in terms of soft power, and soft power must be understood in terms of attractiveness and influence. Soft power, of agreement with Joseph Nye's notion of persuasion, it arises from "intangible resources of power": "such as culture, ideology and institutions" (Nye, 1992:150-170).

The EU as a product of cultural dialogues is a civil power, a normative power and a soft power. The EU's power of persuasion depends on its legitimacy and credibility in its institutions (EU, 2016a and Michalski, 2005:124-141). For this reason, the coherence between the identity that the EU wishes to show and the practices it will follow is fundamental for the projection of itself as a credible international actor. This coherence will be necessary if the EU is to meet its goal to "reinforce unity in diversity". Otherwise, their liberal values would be contradicted and populist prejudices against the EU would be solidified. Thus, domestic legitimacy and credibility as sources of soft power ultimately depend on the written request of the consistency between the EU's narrative identity and the democratic values reflected in its practices (EU, 2016).

Cultural diplomacy responds to incoherence by requiring reflection, on the one hand, and improving that identity, on the other. For example, optimising Europe's image through the European Neighbourhood Instrument communication programme and association (ENPI) help promote specific geopolitical interests, creating more durable conditions for cooperation with countries such as Algeria, Libya and Syria to the south; and Georgia, Moldova and Ukraine to the east. This is relevant in relation to what Nye coined as "co-optive power": "the ability of a country to manage a status so that other countries develop certain preferences or define their interests in the agreement with their own" (Nye, 1990:168). Soft power applied to culture can work indirectly or directly. It works indirectly when it is independent of government control (e.g., popular culture) and directly through cultural diplomacy (e.g., the NCP). Foreign policy actors can act as defenders of domestic culture, both consciously (e.g., politicians) and unconsciously (e.g., local artists). In doing so, they serve as agents for other countries or channels of soft power.

IV. Culture and foreign policy

Considering soft power as an emergence of culture, values, and national policies, we can say that culture is both a foundation and a foundation. resource of foreign policy (Liland, 1993:8). Foreign policy, in turn, operates within the framework of any society interacting at the international level. Therefore, there is a need for a European cultural context capable of influencing the world (such as the difference in the accession negotiations between Croatia and Turkey and the attractiveness of economic integration or the ability to adjust human rights policies). Culture, in turn, is a resource, as the exchange empowers the EU. This new capacity of the EU allows it to become acquainted with new attitudes, sentiments and popular images that are capable of influencing foreign policy, domestic policy and social life. (Liland, 1993:9-14 and Walt, 1998). Another noteworthy function of culture is the dissemination of information and its ability to obtain favorable opinions in the foreign nation (Liland, 1993:12-13).

Cultural diplomacy is therefore at the forefront of European foreign policy; On the other hand, this does not mean that the use of culture can replace traditional foreign policy objectives – geography, power, security, politics and economics – but that the use of culture serves to support and legitimize them. In other words, culture is not the main agent in the foreign policy process, but is the foundation that reinforces, contradicts, or explains its content – thus, Wilson's idealism in the 1920s can be linked to a domestic culture of "manifest destiny" (Liland, 1993 and Kim, 2011:6).

V. Conclusions

The purpose of this article has been to highlight the importance of culture in relation to soft power and foreign policy, as a theoretical foundation to understand the logic of the new EU Cultural Diplomacy platform. Identifying the role of culture as a fundamental part of social cohesion within the EU, we can conclude that culture has made the EU a global actor with more capacity for influence. Culture, likewise, has been identified as source and as an instrument of foreign policy. But the sources of soft power—culture, political values, and foreign policy—depend on three factors: (1) a favorable context; (2) credibility in values and internship, and (3) the perception of legitimacy and moral authority (see Nye, 2006). The EU must first legitimise itself as a coherent actor with moral authority, in order to be able to deal effectively with its existential crisis (European Union, 2016a:9 and Tuomioja, 2009).

To do so, the EU must overcome its institutional and structural limits by collectively confronting its non-traditional external external security threats. This requires a strategy of resistance in which the EU is not identified as a threat to national identity, but as a cultural, economic and legislative entity.

In this article various topics related to culture, soft power, the EU's foreign policy and its internal dynamics were discussed; However, the impact of a "uniform cultural system" and how foreign policy can influence a society's culture has not been analysed in depth. Culture is not an end in itself, nor are intercultural dialogues and the development of cultural diplomacy.

The Union should avoid the risk of evolving towards a dehumanising bureaucratic structure favouring a standard culture to counter its internal constraints and non-traditional external security threats. According to Vaclav Havel, the EU can avoid this phenomenon by supporting cultural institutions that work for plurality and freedom of culture. These institutions are critical to preserving each nation's national identity and traditions. In other words, culture must be subsidized to better adapt to its plurality and freedom, as is the case with national heritages, libraries, museums and public archives – or the witnesses of our past (Havel, 1992).

As a final touch and as a historical reflection, cultural diplomacy promotes shared narratives about cultural identities. To do otherwise would not only solidify populist rhetoric and domestic prejudice against the Union, but would also make cultural totalitarianism, or worse, cultural relativism, endemic. To aspire to a 'uniform culture system' through an agreed European narrative would be to negotiate pluralism and freedom and, consequently, to contradict firstly the nature of culture and, secondly, the liberal values on which the Union was founded.



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Arndt, R. T. (2013). Culture or propaganda? Reflections on Half a Century of U.S. Cultural Diplomacy. Mexican Journal of Foreign Policy, 29-54.

Cull, N. J. (2013). Public Diplomacy: Theoretical Considerations. Mexican Journal of Foreign Policy, 55-92.

Cummings, Milton C. (2003) Cultural Diplomacy and the United States Government: A Survey, Washington, D.C. Center for Arts and Culture.

European Commission. (2016). A new strategy to put culture at the heart of EU international relations. Press re-read.

European Commission. (2016b). Towards an EU strategy for international cultural relations. Joint Communication to the European Parliament and the Council.

European External Action Service. (2017). Culture – Towards an EU strategy for international cultural relations. Joint Communication.

European Union. (2016). From Shared Vision to Common Action: The EU's Global Strategic Vision.

European Union. (2016b). Towards an EU Strategy for International Cultural Relations. Joint Communication to the European Parliament and the Council.

European Union (2017) Adminstrative Arrangements developed by the European Union National Institutes for Culture (EUNIC) in partnership with the European Commission Services and the European External Action Service, 16 May (https://

Havel, Vaclav (1992) "On Politics, Morality and Civility in a Time of Transition."Summer Meditations, Knopf.

Higgot, R. (2017). Enhancing the EU's International Cultural Relations: The Prospects and Limits: Cultural Diplomacy. Institute for European Studies.

Howard, Philip K. (2011). Vaclav Havel's Critique of the West. The Atlantic.

Kim, Hwajung. (2011) Cultural Diplomacy as the Means of Soft Power in an Information Age.

La Porte and Cross. (2016). The European Union and Image Resilience during Times of Crisis: The Role of Public Diplomacy. The Hague Journal of Diplomacy, 1-26.

Liland, Frode (1993). Culture and Foreign Policy: An Introduction to Approaches and Theory. Institutt for Forsvarstudier, 3-30.

Melissen, J. (2005). The New Public Diplomacy: Between Theory and Practice.

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Nye, Joseph. S. (2006) Think Again: Soft Power, Foreign Policy.

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Trobbiani, Riccardo. (2017). EU Cultural Diplomacy: time to define strategies, means and complementarity with Member States. Institute for European Studies.

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Walt, Stephen M. (1998) International relations: One world, many theories. Foreign Policy. Washington; Spring, pp. 29-35.

Categories Global Affairs: European Union World order, diplomacy and governance Essays

essay / Celia Olivar Gil [English version].

The global context continues to pose new challenges to European collective action at subject of development, the most important of which is migration from the Southern Mediterranean and the difficulty of articulating a well-articulated joint reaction. Aware of the urgency of status, the European Union is trying to offer a new and ambitious response in the form of the New Consensus on development (hereafter 'Consensus') which also coincides with the review of the Millennium Development Goals by the United Nations.

The Consensus is a 'framework of action' to promote the integration and coherence of cooperation to development of the European Union and its member states. This framework of action requires the adoption of those changes necessary for both EU and national legislation to comply with the diary 2030 of development Sustainable proposal by the United Nations and with the agreement of Paris on climate change.

The Consensus maintains the eradication of poverty as its main goal, goal , but includes a novel vision, proposing that poverty be addressed from a triple economic, social and environmental perspective. In addition to the eradication of poverty, the Consensus aims to achieve diary 2030, and to this end articulates its five pillars: population, planet, prosperity, peace and cooperation. To this articulation, the Consensus adds some novel and cross-cutting elements, which are: emphasis on youth (meeting the basic needs of young people such as employment); gender equality; good governance (achieving a rule of law that guarantees human rights, promoting the creation of transparent institutions, participatory decision-making and independent and impartial courts); mobilization and migration; sustainable energy and climate change; Investment and trade; innovative engagement with countries at development more advanced (building new partnerships with these countries to implement diary 2030 here); domestic resource mobilization and use (effective and efficient use of resources through the "raise more, spend better" initiative).



In order to achieve all the initiatives and objectives set out above, the application of the Consensus extends to both the policies of the European Union and those of all its member states. In addition, it emphasizes that the Consensus should also be applied in new, more tailored and more multilateral partnerships involving civil society and greater participation of partner countries. The means of implementation combine traditional financial aid with more innovative forms of financing for development, such as private sector investments and mobilizing additional domestic resources for development. In terms of follow-up, the new consensus will have a regular monitoring mechanism, including accountability through the European Parliament and national parliaments and reporting obligations.

Initial assessments of the new consensus agree that it is a good synthesis of the international concerns of development. However, it raises some criticisms regarding the effective capacity to address these concerns.

First of all, as the Overseas Development Institute points out, it is not a real strategic plan, but a set of unconnected priorities. development For it to be a real strategy, the roles of the Commission and the member states would need to be determined, the thematic, sectoral and geographic priorities defined (the seventeen Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) contained in the diary 2030 are treated with equal importance), and new European institutions built or existing ones (such as the International Climate Fund) used to coordinate national funds more effectively. Likewise, the Consensus should determine the form and content of cooperation with income countries average, establishing horizontal, vertical and sectoral coordination. At the same time, this coordination would require the establishment of a division of tasks within the EU to achieve a better use of resources.

Secondly, and from agreement with James Mackie (head of the department learning and quality of the European Center for the development) it is difficult to perceive to whom it is addressed and what exactly it demands. The fact that geographic and sectoral priorities remain undetermined leaves the Degree commitment of member states uncertain and if there is commitment, it will be tactical rather than explicit.

The third criticism is related to its implementation. Although the consensus is ambitious in its objectives, it lacks an adequate institutional framework and an efficient mechanism to implement its new proposals. In addition, it gives the private sector a very important role, without providing it with transparency in cases of human rights abuses or environmental damage, as Marta Latek, researcher at EPRS (European Parliamentary Research Service) explained

In terms of its objectives there are many influential actors such as CARE (the international confederation of development) who agree that it focuses too much on migration control and does not prioritize the needs of the poor. This can be seen in the fact that both in the framework cooperation with other non-EU countries, as well as the external investment plan, it prioritizes the security and commercial interests of the EU before helping the population out of poverty.

A fifth criticism makes reference letter to the political dimension. The new Consensus should integrate a holistic as well as a sustainable security concept to connect the problems of stability and democracy with those of security in EU foreign affairs. A holistic concept of development means a vision of lasting sustainability, encompassing aspects such as the condition of sustainability, social justice or democracy. (Criticism according to Henökl, Thomas and Niels Keijzer of the German Development Institute).

Finally, as far as financing is concerned, the European Parliament continues to ask member states to donate 0.7% of their annual budget for cooperation to development. Given that very few of them are able to give this 0.7%, the consensus is on the importance of private sector participation via the European External Investment Plan.

In conclusion, this document reflects the needs of the current global context but requires a series of changes in order to be fully effective and a true strategy. These changes are necessary to prevent the Consensus from remaining only theoretical.



Questions and Answers: New European Consensus on development: 

The new European Consensus on development: EU and Member States sign a joint strategy to eradicate poverty:

The proposed new European Consensus on Development Has the European Commission got it right?

New European consensus on development Will it be fit for purpose?

Seven critical questions for review of 'European Consensus on Development '

The Future of the "European Consensus on Development"

European Union Development Policy: Collective Action in Times of Global Transformation and Domestic Crisis

Categories Global Affairs: European Union World order, diplomacy and governance Essays

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