Defining European Interests in Foreign Policy: Insights from the Mediterranean Case
Based on insights from the Mediterranean case, this paper discusses under what requirements an issue grows to salience as a common European initiative in the foreign policy domain.
Why, how and when does an issue become a European interest and a European priority? Under what conditions does the EC/EU decide to launch a foreign policy initiative? When does a topic get on the EC/EU agenda of foreign affairs? In this paper the author raises the question of how, when and why do ‘European interests’ emerge, - using the insights provided by the Mediterranean case. The starting point is how to account for a changing pattern of decisions, especially on the part of member states. The substance of this paper thus lies in the attempt to map out how, when and why crucial actors in EFP making change their mind and decide that the Mediterranean is more important than previously maintained.