The Baltic Region

2015 Issue №4(26)

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The concept of the European Union’s normative power



Traditionally, studies into a state’s foreign policy focus on the international situation and national interests of the parties. However, such approach does not completely conform to the objectives of studies into the foreign policy of the European Union – an example of unique integration of states. One of the modern approaches aimed to describe the nature of the EU as an actor in world politics is the concept of the EU’s ‘normative power’ arguing that the ‘power’ of the EU lies in the ability to change the international community’s idea of the ‘norm’. The concept of the EU’s ‘normative power’ is the focus of the article. The author describes the historical background of EU’s foreign (and to a degree, domestic) policy, assuming that the policy is a ‘product’ of its time. The article examines three approaches to understanding these concepts and analyses the correlation between the ‘normative’ and ‘soft power’ as well as related contradictions. In conclusion, the author identifies prospects of studies into the сoncept of ‘normative power’ of the European Union.


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