After a full year of conferences and seminars, the Making Politics Matter series ended on a high note yesterday with Dr Geoffrey Edwards talk on the EU’s (lack of) coherent international strategy. Dr Edwards provided a comprehensive overview of the EU’s role in international affairs in the last couple decades, highlighting the contingent (but important) character of much of the EU’s policies and activities across the world. Although the EU has a significant number of guiding documents that it labels as ‘strategy’ (i.g. Internal Security Strategy, European Security Strategy, Cyber Security Strategy), it does not possess a ‘real’ strategy, in the same way the United States has a National Security Strategy; a document that sets the guidelines and priorities for its foreign policy. The inexistence of such a document at the European level has important consequences in terms of both how member states react to the EU’s foreign policy needs and in terms of how external actors perceive and understand the EU’s international priorities and behaviour.
Dr Edwards’ talk was followed by an open debate in which students and staff had the opportunity to discuss some of the key issues affecting contemporary European politics and, in particular, the EU’s role in the world.
From 2015 the Department of Psychology, Politics and Sociology will be offering a new BA in European Politics.