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EUs Current External Action Capacities

Subsequent to the Second World War, efforts made towards European integration were viewed as a get away approach from the intense forms of nationalism, which had ravaged the continent. The formation of the European Coal and Steel Community was among one such attempt to bring together Europeans. The founding members of the Community were Belgium, France, Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands and West Germany. Thereafter the history of Europe saw the establishment of European Economic Community (EEC) ascertaining a customs union and the "European Atomic Energy Community (Euratom) for cooperation in developing nuclear energy" (Duthel 64). In 1967, the Merger Treaty provided for the amalgamation of these communities collectively referred to as European Communities, which popularly were termed as European Community (Rosamond, 132). It has come a long way since then.

Robert cooper, presently the counselor in the European External Action Services (EEAS) of European Union, has developed a post-cold war world view. According to this view the contemporary world consists of three state systems i.e. the per-modern states such as Afghanistan and Somalia which have failed to form a durable sovereign state system , modern states such as India and China and post- modern states of Europe and America. In this contemporary world , the European states are threatened by terrorism , drug trafficking and organized crime from pre modern states and by weapons of mass destruction or prospects of nuclear holocaust originating from modern states.

In order to safeguard the EU nations Cooper advocates radical preventive action such as pre-emptive armed intervention in those parts of the world which have very high possibilities of threat. He also advocates an international society of states in close cooperation with each other diplomatically, financially and militarily in order to counter the post-modern threats.  The European Union's institutional structure consisting of European Commission, the Council of EU, European Parliament, Economic and Social committee, Committee of the Regions, and the recently formed European External Action Service (EEAS) has developed a satisfactory infrastructure for a fast reactive action coming close to Cooper doctrine.

In this context it should be noted that the EU is habitually portrayed as being separated into three divisions of responsibility, called pillars. The original European Community principles form the first pillar, while the second being Common Foreign and Security Policy. The third pillar initially comprised of Justice and Home Affairs. However, due to changes brought in by the Amsterdam and Nice treaties, it at present only consists of "Police and Judicial Co-operation in Criminal Matters" (Hartley, 472).

In broader terms, the second and third pillars may be depicted as the intergovernmental pillars, the reason being that the supranational institutions of the Commission, Parliament and the Court of Justice play a limited or practically no role at all, while the intergovernmental Council of Ministers and the European Council take the initiative. Primary activities of the EU are the prerogative of the first, Community pillar. This is typically of economic nature and the supranational institutions have more authority. (Hix, 212) Thus, it is obvious that to sustain in the long run the system must be democratic in nature as per the pillars of EU. Thus, to survive under these circumstances the EU must remain democratic in order to sustain democracy in the member states.

It should be noted that the forthcoming of the euro, as the currency of the EU, is of historical importance for both European eco-political amalgamation and for the global economic arena. The EMU is metamorphosing the sphere of business, commerce, and finance. With economic and political integration of Europe thus expanded, its research with a supranational union has shifted into a new phase. U.S.-European relations are undergoing a period of elementary modification. In the international economic scenario, the uprising of the European Monetary Union (EMU) has generated circumstances for a truly supranational European identity and, eventually, a change in the economic balance of forces between the European Union (EU) and the United States (Dinan, 2006).

However, coming back to the main point, it should be stated that EEAS, a product of Lisbon Treaty is a further evidence of close cooperation among EU nations which is so necessary for effective international actions to ensure the peace and security of the post-modern world. This capability of EU is being further enhanced by the EU Institutional Reforms Taskforce which is in the process of upgrading the EU capabilities for handling the 21st century challenges.

A good example of EU's interventionist capability is Libya where EU is helping the pro-democratic forces militarily and diplomatically (Dinan 65). However, there are weak areas in EU structure which also often undermine EU's international military and diplomatic efforts for stability. Many EU countries are reluctant to develop arrangements for fast deployment of adequate military forces. The smaller EU countries are also constrained by their limited economic capacities which make their roles in EU less effective. Notwithstanding above limitations EU is capable of playing substantial international role as exemplified in case of Egypt, Syria and Lebanon.

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