The EU’s contribution to international law in times of crisis: ESIL Annual Conference

Dr. Joris Larik, Senior Researcher at The Hague Institute, participated in the 12th Annual Conference of the European Society of International Law (ESIL), which took place in Riga, Latvia, from 8 to 10 September 2016. The conference under the theme “How International Law Works in Times of Crisis” was hosted by Riga Graduate School of Law in cooperation with Latvian Constitutional Court.

Dr. Larik gave a presentation in the session of the ESIL Interest Group on the European Union as a Global Actor. In his presentation, Dr. Larik offered an assessment of the EU’s new Global Strategy for Foreign and Security Policy entitled Shared Vision, Common Action: A Stronger Europe. On 28 June 2016, High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, Federica Mogherini presented the Global Strategy to the European Council. The document is the result of a year-long process during which High Representative Mogherini consulted with experts, member states, civil society, and other stakeholders. This process included an expert consultation last December, organized by The Hague Institute and the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs, which aimed at informing the Dutch input statement in the strategic review process.

“The Global Strategy introduces a healthy dose of nuance and prioritization in achieving the Union’s aims and in promoting its values”

– Dr. Joris Larik

Dr. Larik, who earlier this year published a monograph entitled Foreign Policy Objectives in European Constitutional Law, focused in his presentation on how the Global Strategy addresses the development of international law and the strengthening of institutions of regional and global governance. Dr. Larik argued that the Global Strategy makes the EU’s contribution to international law more credible for three main reasons. Firstly, it does not back down on the EU’s commitment to the strict observance and development of international law. Secondly, the Strategy retains a strong emphasis on global and regional governance structures, stressing the need to bolster and – where necessary – reform them. Thirdly, and in contrast to much of the EU’s previous foreign policy rhetoric, the Global Strategy introduces a healthy dose of nuance and prioritization in achieving the Union’s aims and in promoting its values in an international environment troubled by a range of crises.

The Hague Institute continues to assess the EU’s Global Strategy and monitor its implementation. On September 30, 2016, the Institute, in collaboration with the European Parliament Information Office and the Representation of the European Commission in The Netherlands, will host an expert consultation and a public panel on the Global Strategy.

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