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  • Print publication year: 2008
  • Online publication date: December 2009

Series Editors' Preface

Summary

The foreign policy of the European Union as such has so far received relatively little attention from lawyers, although there are excellent works on the Union's external relations in general. Ethical Dimensions of the Foreign Policy of the European Union seeks at once to fill that gap and to present, both in the wider perspective and, through the use of well-thought-out case studies, by reference to the major ethical themes of denial of democratic rights, participation in the Middle East peace process, and humanitarian aid, a considered, scholarly and critical assessment of the Union's foreign policy objectives and achievements. The promotion of ethical values in foreign policy forms an essential part of good neighbourhood policy and the promotion of respect for fundamental rights and the rule of law; and, as Dr Khaliq rightly observes, the litmus test for an ethical foreign policy lies in its application. He assesses ethical foreign policies from the perspective first of public international law, and then turns to the policy and practice of the European Union. Although the Union is firmly anchored on such concepts as liberty, democracy, respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms, and social rights, he notes that the link between these principles and external relations is weak; this is certainly institutionally so, although in practice the link is more frequently paraded, even if perhaps not always as much observed as might be desired.