EU as a Successful International Organization

Introduction

European Union is the largest economic bloc in the globe. It is established based on shared values like liberty, democracy, human rights and belief in the rule of law. EU is instrumental in the promotion of peace, stability and democracy in the universe. There are four institutions of the EU. The first is the European commission which is made up of 27 commissioners and each commissioner is assigned a particular policy area. It is this institution that has the power to negotiate any deal on behalf of the Union.

The second institution is the executive organ of the organization; the executive organ is the decision-making body of the EU, and it is composed of ministers with each minister representing a state.[1] It is this arm of the EU that can decide on foreign policy matters. The council presidency of EU is based on a rotational basis; the third institution of EU is the EU parliament which is considered as the voice of the citizens.

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It has the responsibility of passing laws and adopting budgets. The EU parliament also approves the commissioners seconded to the EU commission. Last, there is the EU court of justice which is the highest judicial organ, and it is bestowed with the responsibility of interpreting the laws. The court is an independent decision maker.[2]

The European Union is an international organization which is an association of democratic countries from the European continent. These countries are committed to the promotion of peace and pursuit of prosperity. The EU is more than an international organization due to its uniqueness.[3]

EU as a Global Player

The EU is a global player. It achieves its ends by use of soft power, which can help promote stability, human rights and democracy. EU has managed to deliver congregate results in the areas of eradication of poverty and realization of sustainable development. The EU has managed to address global challenges like peace, humanitarian aid, promotion of peace and democracy in the world and security and counter terrorism.[4]

The EU is an international actor but this position has been clouded by several questions. The European Union has enjoyed a considerable success in its influence on international politics. The EU, in particular, carries a lot of weight with regards to environmental, monetary and financial policies.[5] The EU power as an international organization is so considerable even when compared to the US but still the expectations of the EU as a global power and actor in international stage is low.

The success of the EU as an international organization has been evidenced in the economic fields but its success in military and economic spheres is still questioned. From the late 20th century, the role of the EU in global affairs took a different direction since the policy makers shifted its capacity to enhance its participation in international activities and in multilateral negotiations.[6]

EU Foreign Policy

Since its inception, the EU has been active in its member states as well as in addressing other international issues through the Common Foreign and Security policy. This led to its international involvement and increased capabilities.

It is, however, difficult to understand the kind of power that the EU assumes in the international system because it is not state or non state actor, neither is it a conventional international organization nor international regime, but it makes a significant contribution on international matters from economic to humanitarian and conflict.[7]

The ever growing emergence and the ascendance of the EU have been largely linked to its influential principles and aims, which guide its policies and other policies that articulate its international identity. The adoption of the European Security Strategy in 2003 was a key indication of the effectiveness of the EU as an international organization.

This European Security Strategy was instrumental in identifying what the EU member states considered as their main security threat and the ways to overcome such a threat multilaterally in cooperation with other international organizations.[8]

The European Union is a perfect example of a political organization that is successful beyond the nation state.[9] There are still some assumptions that the European Union as an international organization is still limited but this assumption has been canceled by three main facts. These facts are: it is an acknowledgeable fact that there are international organizations that operate outside the boundaries of UN and European Union is one of them.

It is also necessary to take into account the fact that there are other means of the participation of EU as an international organization in international forums, which minimizes the differences between the members and the non-members state and lastly, despite the EU lacking membership in international organizations, it plays a principal role in various multinational bodies, which are established by conventions.[10]

The various developments that justify that the EU is powerful as an international organization are:

The EU participates in discussions with U.S.: in the international forum, the EU is a powerful tool especially in areas of policy, which are exclusive to European Community. The EU facilitates policy coordination and can effectively articulate the interests of the member states.

Consequently, the EU is used by the member states as an instrument to provide both economic and political support to other states or other international organizations.[11] European Union exists in two faces; the first face is the one that exists to serve and fulfill the aspirations of its people and member states, and it consists of the council of ministers and European council of the heads of states and government; it seeks to serve the interest of their member states, particularly those that cannot be realized by the states individually.

The second face is the one that looks at the European Union in its entirety: European Union as an actor in international politics is represented by the EU Commission. This face brings out the picture of the EU as a matrix of transnational and international organizations and not juts as an international organization.[12]

Multilateralism

The EU has embraced effective multilateralism which has been central to its interactions with other actors in international community. This has added a new perspective into the debate regarding the EU’s presence and orientation in the international community.[13] This principle of effective literalism posits a particular modality for going international by the EU and this has shifted the focus on policy objectives of EU in the international arena.

As an international organization, the EU can be a principle based as well as interest based. With regard to a principle based, the EU participation in international community can be genuine and sincere and considered a genuine pursuit and furtherance of the principles of multiculturalism.

The interest approach of EU as an international organization is an indication of its multidimensionality in international interactions. This principle of multiculturalism attributes the role of international organizations to the proper functioning of the entire international system.[14]

Powerful international organizations like the EU can teach states what they need as well they have the ability to influence and to define the national interest of the member states. The EU has been a dominant player in the international arena; it acts as both the contributor to international activities of other regional based international organizations as well as a benefactor of the contributions made by other international organizations towards the multilateral obligations.[15]

The EU’s role as an international organization can take different perspectives. It may take the form of monetary or material contributions or personnel. The success of the EU as an international union can be analyzed based on its cumulative contribution to other international organizations like the United Nations and Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) among others.

Just like other organizations after the World War II, the EU included matters of good governance, human rights and democracy to govern its cooperation with external players. This is well captured in the European Neighborhood Policy. The EU, for example, has devised various strategies that will help to ameliorate the economic and political systems of fragile or poor countries and the entire third world.[16]

Weakening Power of USA

The weakened role of the U.S. in the perspective of military, civilian and normative capabilities has led to a paradigm shift in how the politics of international community is transacted. The world is turning to Europe to seek the direction of the affairs of the international community.[17]

There is no single power, be it China, Russia or India that can match the power and the influence of the European Union. It is argued that the European Union is a latent superpower. The EU has its presence in diplomacy, peacekeeping missions, international law, commerce and environmental matters.[18] Based on statistics on commerce and trade, the EU has demonstrated itself as a global economic powerhouse with regards to multinational cooperation, finance, trade and investments.[19]

Economic and trade wise, the EU has emerged as a dynamic economy. It is estimated that a combination of EU and US makes up for approximately 40 percent of all global trade while EU accounts for almost two third of the global investment in the world. EU is a member of the UN but its member countries are independent members of the UN.

For the influence of EU’s foreign policy to be felt it should be supported by its members. The strong influence of EU in international community is supported by the fact that its member states should support and enforce the influence of the organization.

This has helped to enhance the influence of the power of the organization in international matters. The EU first has to agree at a situation and position before its stand is known. The EU maintains a joint position when it comes to voting taking in security and general assembly of UN. The EU is also considered to be the largest contributor financially to the UN which makes it one of the most successful international organizations.[20]

Conclusion

When viewed from the lens of civilian, military and normative power, the increasing role of the EU as an international organization will be clearly captured. The EU has been a successful international organization due to its participation in International fora, its power and success is also manifested on its economic mighty and strength of its foreign policy.

Bibliography

Archer, Clive. International organizations. New York: Routledge, 2007.

Blavoukos, Spyros, and Bourantonis, Dimitris. The EU presence in international organizations. New York, NY: Taylor & Francis, 2010.

Cuperus, Rene, Duffek Karl, and Froschl Erich. The EU – A Global Player?.
New York: Routledge, 2006.

Hoffmeister, Frank. “Outsider or front Runner? Recent developments under International and European law on the status in international organizations and treaty bodies.” Common Market Review 44, no. 1 (2007): 41-48.

Krohn, Fabian. “What kind of power? The EU as an International Actor.” Atlantic Community, n.d. http://www.atlantic-community.org/app/webroot/files/articlepdf/Fabian%20Krohn.pdf.

Staab Andreas. The European Union explained: institutions, actors, global impact. Indiana University, IN: Indiana University Press. 2008.

Andreas Staab, The European Union Explained: Institutions, Actors, Global Impact (Indiana: Indiana University Press, 2011), 197.
Ibid
Ibid
Rene Cuperus, Duffek Karl, and Froschl Erich, The EU – A Global Player? (New York: Routledge, 2006), 214.
Ibid
Fabian Krohn, “What kind of power? The EU as an International Actor,” Atlantic Community, n.d., http://www.atlantic-community.org/app/webroot/files/articlepdf/Fabian%20Krohn.pdf.
Frank Hoffmeister, “Outsider or front Runner? Recent developments under International and European law on the status in international organizations and treaty bodies,” Common Market Review 44, no. 1 (2007): 42.
Rene Cuperus, Duffek Karl, and Froschl Erich, The EU – A Global Player? (New York: Routledge, 2006), 214.
Frank Hoffmeister, “Outsider or front Runner? Recent developments under International and European law on the status in international organizations and treaty bodies,” Common Market Review 44, no. 1 (2007).
Ibid
Ibid
Fabian Krohn, “What kind of power? The EU as an International Actor,” Atlantic Community, n.d., http://www.atlantic-community.org/app/webroot/files/articlepdf/Fabian%20Krohn.pdf. ^
Spyros Blavoukos and Bourantonis Dimitris, The EU presence in international organizations (New York: Taylor & Francis, 2010). ^
Ibid ^
Rene Cuperus, Duffek Karl, and Froschl Erich, The EU – A Global Player? (New York: Routledge, 2006).
Fabian Krohn, “What kind of power? The EU as an International Actor,” Atlantic Community, n.d., http://www.atlantic-community.org/app/webroot/files/articlepdf/Fabian%20Krohn.pdf.
Ibid
Spyros Blavoukos and Bourantonis Dimitris, The EU presence in international organizations (New York: Taylor & Francis, 2010)
Andreas Staab, The European Union Explained: Institutions, Actors, Global Impact (Indiana: Indiana University Press, 2011).
Spyros Blavoukos and Bourantonis Dimitris, The EU presence in international organizations (New York: Taylor & Francis, 2010).

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