Though set in place in 1993 by the Maastricht Treaty, the European Union’s Common Foreign and Security Policy has had difficulty establishing itself. This is even more the case in a Union that now comprises 28 member states whose foreign policy concerns are far from convergent. There has, however, been no shortage of opportunities in the last few years to implement the policy and use it to reinforce European power on the international scene (the rebellion in Ukraine, the Arab springs, the conflicts in Mali and the Central African Republic etc.).
But as Jean-François Drevet shows here, in the light of four recent events (the revelation of US spying activities, the French interventions in Africa, the rivalry with Russia in Ukraine and the nuclear agreement with Iran), the scope of this policy is, to say the least, limited. There is little chance, then, of Europe as such emerging as a global power in the immediate future. Nevertheless, middle ways might emerge to lift the Union out of the diplomatic passivity that too often besets it and produce meaningful results at the international level, in spite of the internal obstacles maintained mostly by the British.