Institute for International and European Policy, KU Leuven
The EU and Emerging Powers location:Brussels, Belgium date:29-30 April 2013
How can the European Union (EU) maintain a relevant, effective player in a multipolar world? Past studies have sought to address such question through a focus on the internal constraints the EU faces in its foreign policy. Instead we propose leaving the beaten path by stressing the need for a stronger inclusion of the external perspective in the EU’s foreign policy. Relying upon the EU’s experiences from the past and the present, it is argued that greater effectiveness can be achieved by being more sensitive to the (political, economic and societal) conditions that foreign decision-makers face. The urgent need for a more prominent role of the external perspective becomes especially important when taking into account the various pressures peripheral countries are confronted with in an increasingly multipolar world. In a case study on the EU’s relations with Kazakhstan, it will further be demonstrated that the presence of alternative powers brings new challenges to the front for the EU which can best be dealt with by having a good knowledge about what attracts or detracts.