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Government and politics - Essay Example

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Ratified in 2009, the Treaty makes sweeping changes to the governance of Europe, amending previous treaties and changing institutions. It is a controversial document and…
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Government and politics
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Government and politics

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The institutions of the EU are sure to change due to the Lisbon Treaty, perhaps most dramatically in terms of international affairs. The new High Representative for Foreign Affairs will unify Europes foreign policy. This will have a significant impact. It’s important to ask the question, What is power on the international scene? Part of it must surely have to do with purely military force (Kagan, 12). The US is the lone power in the world with the ability to conduct expeditionary warfare on multiple fronts across the globe whenever it wants to. As was demonstrated in the Balkans in the 1990s, Europeans aren’t able to project a credible military force even within Europe. Therefore the Europeans resort to the only thing they have for managing international conflicts, international institutions such as the UN. The success of European integration and solving the "German problem" has a lot of Europeans, Kagan says, to believe that they live in a Kantian paradise where international institutions can banish war forever (101). Americans have a different historical reality, and think of the world as a Hobbesian jungle where hard power rules. Now because of the Lisbon Treaty, Europeans will be taking more responsibility for their actions as a unified state.
Hopefully, this will lead to the EU supporting the US in various actions rather than being a peanut gallery of criticism, with various European foreign minister sniping away (Nergelius, 89). Now Europe is left with two options: either they follow the US or be a silent partner. "Rather than viewing the US as a Gulliver tied down by Lilliputian threads", says Kagan, "American leaders should realize that they are hardly constrained at all, that Europe is not really capable of constraining the US" (100). The main reason he reaches this conclusion is because he thinks of power only in a ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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