6 Eur. Foreign Aff. Rev. 223 (2001)
To Be or Not to Be: An Analysis of the Legal and Political Elements of Statehood in the EU's External Identity

handle is hein.kluwer/eurofa0006 and id is 227 raw text is: European Foreign Affairs Review 6: 223-241, 2001.
 2001 Kluwer Law International.
To Be or Not to Be?: An Analysis of the
Legal and Political Elements of
Statehood in the EU's External Identity
I. Introduction
Peace, democracy and the reinforcement of citizens' rights and liberties
have constituted the ultimate political goals of European integration. The
promotion of these goals has even been seen to demand an ever closer
external unity of a unified Europe. In this process of external unification,
it has been difficult to distance oneself from the constitutive principles
of the current international system, that is, from the principles of state
sovereignty and territoriality. Consequently, the present European Union is
in many respects being built upon these principles, even as far as its external
identity is concerned.
The external identity of the European Union is, however, a very controver-
sial issue. While for many observers it seems clear that the EU is beginning
to be vested with the key elements of statehood, others still claim that a
unified external identity is non-existent and that the EU's external activities
simply consist of the coordination of national policies.' The importance of
national perspectives in international relations and the lack of a common
political identity at the EU level are usually mentioned as the core reasons
for the problems of the EU in reaching international actorness.
Irrespective of the disagreement that prevails as far as the final form of
the EU's external status and identity is concerned, an objective analysis of the
current state of affairs can still serve to point out the potential developments
in this respect. This article focuses on the present external identity of the
European Union from the perspective of the current international system. Its
purpose is to trace the key elements of statehood - legal and political - in the
EU's international role and to point out the directions in which they might
* Director of Research in the Center for European Studies at the University of Helsinki,
See for instance C. Hill and W. Wallace, 'Introduction: Actors and Actions' in C. Hill
(ed.), The Actors in Europe s Foreign Policy (Routledge, London, 1996) at p. 13.
Copyright' 2007 by Kluwer Law International. All rights reserved.
No claim asserted to original government works.

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