The European Union is facing the worst existential crisis in its 60-year history. At the same time, it is confronted with old and new challenges in its environment that call for joint action. But how do matters stand with the EU's capacity to act? Does the EU manage to effectively combine the different components of its external relations-such as trade, development aid, and security policy-better than it did in the past? How is the EU's external action determined by the internal socio-economic and political crises in its member states? These questions and more are answered in Global Europe in the context of the current impasse in the integration process. A clear analysis of the history of the EU's external relations up to now provides us with a better insight into the feasibility of EU strategies directed at the outside world.
Otto Holman is Associate Professor of International Relations and European Integration Studies at the University of Amsterdam.