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By Brian White

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Extra resources for Understanding European Foreign Policy

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Van Evera has a clear preference for studies of cause/effect relations, which means that his book contains many useful hints concerning this particular type of analysis: causal analysis. However, I want to engage in something different, suggesting that other types of theory are possible and ought to be explored. In contrast to van Evera, Ruggie points out the possibility for noncausal explanation, suggesting that ideational phenomena such as aspirations, legitimacy and rights ‘fall into the category of reasons for action, which are not the same as causes of action’ (Ruggie 1998a: 22, original emphasis).

Interactions and decision-making One consequence of the growing density of the CFSP agenda was the emergence of a strong transgovernmental network of national diplomats sharing ‘professional expertise and professional pride’ (Hill and Wallace 1996: 11). Through its regular meetings, it provided ‘a constant European training on the job for an important branch of government in finding European solutions for their problems’ (Von der Gablentz 1979: 694), resulting in ‘an important group of actors, as well as maintaining national loyalties, orient[ing] itself towards the development of common European positions’ (Wessels 1982: 15).

Furthermore, in recent years we have been witnessing ‘the beginnings of staff exchanges among foreign ministries and shared embassies’ (Hill and Wallace 1996: 6). To be sure, none of these developments alter the fundamental fact that CFSP has remained essentially intergovernmental at the formal level of the institutional distribution of power. Indeed, no formal supranationalisation of European foreign policy cooperation has taken place. 5 Similarly, while the Commission has seen its formal role upgraded from a right to be consulted to sharing the right of initiative and having co-responsibility for consistency and external representation, it has not acquired Treaty powers akin to those it enjoys within the Community, nor has it hitherto been very successful at expanding its limited competences under the CFSP (Allen 1998; Peterson 1998).

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