Building justice into EU security policy
This brief addresses the principles, strengths and weaknesses the EU brings to international security operations, how these have developed over recent years across several policy areas, and how this may be understood in relation to the Union’s pursuit of global justice.
The European Union seeks to adapt itself to a world where national sovereignty increasingly trumps collective action, where material self-interest outweighs normative values and where the ‘universality’ of human rights is increasingly relativised. In reviewing the Union’s pursuit of global political justice in the field of conflict resolution, we identify a shift away from a traditional approach rooted in the multilateral application of agreed rules and values, towards very different models: one which privileges sovereignty and states’ rights and one which prioritises an inclusive and consensus-driven model of justice. Within this rebalancing, we identify key contradictions and challenges which result in acute dilemmas and threaten policy coherence. Based on the evidence presented, we suggest that the Union and its member states have the option to promote the (re)creation of a values-based global order which is designed and governed in a more inclusive fashion and which requires substantially more critical self-reflection from the Union on its own role and responsibilities.
Ben Tonra, University College Dublin