Over the edge: European external policy in evolution

Monica den Boer*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


The external policies of the EU are mostly focused on its neighbouring regions. The EU’s expansion of these external policies is backed by several assumptions. Leading assumptions consist of a correlation between failed states, crime and terrorism and of the idea that crime and terrorism do not stick to borders and are therefore semi-uncontrollable and mobile. The author also argues that there is therefore no longer use to distinct between EU citizens and citizens outside of the EU. Although the EU counts fewer deaths than Iraq or Syria, the EU suffers from crimes such as trafficking in human beings and cybercrime. The EU’s external policy is also based on the asymmetry of income, employment, education and liberty, which draws many people from surrounding areas to Europe. Furthermore, it is based on the concept of interdependency. Globalization implies that the EU is connected economically to other countries. The European Crisis Management shows the connection between the internal and external side of justice and home affairs, for example in the areas of counter-terrorism and organized crime. The author mentions three instruments the EU uses to perform activities in this area. Firstly, the regulatory instrument, which is meant to normalize the conduct of the target partners. Secondly, the incentive instruments, which are non-coercive by nature. Thirdly and most preferable, the capacity tools that activate individuals and groups to make decisions. The major challenge for the EU, according to the author, is shaking off its reputation of internal fragmentation, because this reduces its external credibility. The EU has to create a long-term strategy, particularly for peace operations and slowly integrate national policing actors in its external programmes.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationDemocracy and Rule of Law in the European Union
Subtitle of host publicationessays in honour of Jaap W. de Zwaan
EditorsFlora A. N. J. Goudappel, Ernst M. H Hirsch Ballin
Place of PublicationThe Hague
PublisherT.M.C. Asser Press
Number of pages11
ISBN (Electronic)9789462650664
ISBN (Print)9789462650657
Publication statusPublished - 2016
Externally publishedYes

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