Responsive not strategic

This monograph seeks to examine the motivations for the European Union’s (EU) policy towards the Common Market of the South (Mercosur), the EU’s most important relationship with another regional economic integration organisation. This monograph argues that the dominant explanations in the literature -- balancing the US, global aspirations, being an external federator, long-standing economic and cultural ties, economic interdependence, and the Europeanization of Spanish and Portuguese national foreign policies – fail to adequately explain the EU’s policy. In particular, these accounts tend to infer the EU’s motives from its activity. Drawing extensive primary documents, this monograph argues that the major developments in the relationship -- the 1992 Inter-institutional Agreement and the 1995 Europe Mercosur Inter-regional Framework Cooperation Agreement – were initiated by Mercosur and supported mainly by Spain. This means that rather than the EU pursuing a strategy, as implied by most of the existing literature, the EU was largely responsive.

Open Access (free)
The study of European Union relations with Mercosur
Arantza Gomez Arana

Mercosur. In this study, each of these factors are considered at each of the three stages of EU policy development in order to understand to what extent they could offer a satisfactory explanation for the development of EU–Mercosur policy. Beyond providing a distinctive and empirically rich account of the EU’s relationship with Mercosur, this monograph contributes to the literature on the EU as a global player, particularly the extent to which it is a strategic actor, and to the literature on the Europeanization of national foreign policies of member states from a bottom

in The European Union's policy towards Mercosur:
Arantza Gomez Arana

Moratinos. This monograph finds considerable evidence of how the EU has been a responsive actor to Mercosur demands at the different stages of the relations instead of being a strategic actor that has initiated EU–Mercosur relations. This argument also corresponds with the work of Jorg Monar (1997), who suggests that third parties are the actors who have sought to upgrade EU–Mercosur policies. It also shows how the Iberian membership created a crucial juncture in the development of EU relations towards the region. Finally, this analysis also implies that the EU is far

in The European Union's policy towards Mercosur:
Open Access (free)
Relations between the European Union and Mercosur
Arantza Gomez Arana

interacted with Mercosur by adopting a ‘hub and spoke’ tactic, trying to develop agreements with regions in a weaker position to gain influence in the region as a whole since the EU will be the one setting the agenda. All the authors mentioned above who advanced this argument take for granted the notion that the EU is a strategic actor. This argument will be critically examined in more detail in the following chapters. Affinity Another set of scholars cite the affinity between the EU and Latin America as the main reason for both the development of relations and for the two

in The European Union's policy towards Mercosur:
Open Access (free)
Keeping up appearances
Kinneret Lahad

interviewee understood that New Year’s Eve always created a precarious experience, and made her decision “in the light [of] one’s thoughts about the others’ thoughts about oneself ” (Goffman 1969, 101). In this respect, she can be viewed as a strategic actor aspiring to exercise control over the impression management they convey to others. Hiring a boyfriend enables her to create the right kind of image for her audience—in this case her parents. Being single demands a carefully planned performance. The wide reportage of this new commodity strikes a chord. Amongst other

in A table for one
Henrik Larsen

meant is not something the researcher can know since we do not have access to meaning outside language. We therefore stay at the ‘surface’ of the text and pay attention to the narrative structures and vocabulary in the text. Tactical/rhetorical use of language is certainly seen as important within discourse analysis. It is, however, seen as constrained by the discourses in which the strategic actors are embedded

in Rethinking European Union Foreign Policy
A political–cultural approach
Lisbeth Aggestam

‘an EU whose vision of peace is matched by its vision of prosperity; a civilised continent united in defeating brutality and violence; a continent joined in its belief in social justice. A superpower but not a superstate.’ The convergence of views is in fact taking place because the traditional French meaning of the concept is also changing. The development of Europe as a strategic actor concerns the capability ( pouvoir ) to

in Rethinking European Union Foreign Policy
Arantza Gomez Arana

part of the EU. Since the EU and Mercosur signed their first agreement a year after their first official meeting, this does show a good level of EU commitment. The fact that the EU is the one receiving offers from Mercosur and developing the relationship based on these offers does not help the image of the EU as a strategic actor. EU–Mercosur relations This section discusses EU–Mercosur relations at this stage, focusing on agreements that were made and any evident problems associated with them. It explains the causes of the agreements, showing the extent to which

in The European Union's policy towards Mercosur:
The organisation of war-escalation in the Krajina region of Croatia 1990–91
Hannes Grandits and Carolin Leutloff

analysis of this fear leading to the national mobilisation reveals that it did not necessary correspond to a real threat. Rather it represented a reaction to perceptions of threat as an interpretation of reality not necessarily closely linked to external ‘objectifiable’ criteria (Nicklas 1991). In this setting it is absolutely necessary first to point out the most important initiatives of those strategic actors and their clients, who were the main driving forces of the threat messages. These people can be called ‘ethnic’ or ‘national’ entrepreneurs (see Bailey 1970: 44

in Potentials of disorder