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  • Cited by 1
  • Print publication year: 2008
  • Online publication date: December 2009

7 - Conclusions


The European Union has set itself the objective of promoting certain values and principles in its relations with all third states. This book has primarily been concerned with the Union's relations with developing countries. Its aims were to examine the legal basis for the ethical dimension to the Union's foreign policies and their implementation through a series of case studies. Four main conclusions can be drawn. First, seeking to promote and protect values and principles adapts the Union's foreign policies but it has not fundamentally changed them. Secondly, the structure and nature of the Union act as obstacles to it being an effective actor in this regard. Thirdly, EU policies in this area are neither consistent nor coherent but need to be. Finally, despite these shortcomings, the Union does achieve some of the objectives it pursues and in some respects makes an important contribution but it could make a better one. Each of these issues is discussed below.

The measures the Union can take to promote and protect certain values and principles in a third state are determined by the nature of its relationship with that state. As the Union, like other international actors, has no uniform approach either to developing or to developed states or between them, the basis for its relations with each state differs fundamentally. The nature and basis of relations with, for example, Myanmar and the other ASEAN countries, the countries of the Sub-Continent, the Palestinian Authority and the ACP states, all differ.