Values in the European Union's foreign policy : an analysis and assessment of CFSP declarations

Cardwell, Paul James (2016) Values in the European Union's foreign policy : an analysis and assessment of CFSP declarations. European Foreign Affairs Review, 21 (4). pp. 601-621. ISSN 1875-8223 (

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Common Foreign and Security Policy (CFSP) Declarations have become one of the main ways in which the European Union (EU) makes its voice heard on the global stage. Declarations do not have a basis in the Treaty but are the product of close cooperation between the Member States. Their frequency has increased to the extent that they are a stable, regular and institutionalized feature of the CFSP. When placed in the context of the EU’s institutional foreign policy arrangements, Declarations can be understood as an integral part of the process of forging a common foreign policy for the EU and they should not merely be regarded as empty words. In particular, Declarations represent a significant delegation of authority to the High Representative for Foreign and Security Policy to speak for Europe. This article examines the scope and content of the CFSP Declarations issued over the period 2007–2015 by the Council and the High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy. By classifying Declarations according to type, ‘target’ and subject matter, the article suggests that Declarations have become a specific instrument in their own right and reflect a core set of values the EU has pursued via the CFSP.