Mapping, analysing and implementing foreign policy instruments

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Fraczek, Susanne
Huszka, Beáta
Hüttner, Claudia
Körtvélyesi, Zsolt
Majtényi, Balázs
Romsics, Gergely
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This report provides a framework for mapping, analysing and implementing foreign policy instruments. It is the first Deliverable in Work Package 6 of the FRAME project. The FRAME is a research project funded under the EU’s Seventh Framework Programme (FP7) focusing on EU internal and external human rights policies. Within FRAME, the focus of Work Package 6 is on Regional Partnerships and Bilateral Cooperation. Its main role is to support the regional case studies to be prepared as part of Work Package 6. The objective of this report is to map and assess the human rights instruments the EU uses as part of its regional and bilateral relationships as well as the consistent and qualitative integration of human rights in the EU’s external policy. It provides the theoretical and methodological basis to the case studies of Work Package 6, which will analyse to what extent human rights issues structure bilateral dialogue and whether the EU’s rhetorical emphasis on human rights issues is backed by acts: other instruments (e.g. financial instruments and strategic partnerships) through which it can provide incentives to promote and protect human rights in its partner countries. Thus a general aim of Work Package 6 is to assess the consistency of the EU’s discourse and policy of external human rights promotion, as it appears in bilateral relations. This report offers a discussion of the role of human rights tools and instruments in the EU’s external action at a more general level, while the case studies will look into the operation of these tools in the context of particular bilateral partnerships and regional cooperation. Part I surveys the literature produced by academic and think tank communities between 1998 and 2013 offering an overview of the narratives about the EU’s external human rights activism and actorness on the international scene. Although the human rights component was present in certain EU policy fields prior to the 1990s the EU’s human rights identity emerged in the 1990s connected to international political developments such as transition in Central Eastern Europe and the enfolding crisis in the Western Balkans, thus marking a beginning of a period of more intense discussions about the EU’s external agenda and capabilities in the field of human rights. The goal of this part of the report is to inform the reader about the debates and issues raised by scholars and policy researchers regarding the role of human rights in the EU’s external action. This comprehensive literature review reveals an apparent hiatus of targeted fieldwork which would be necessary for moving beyond institutional accounts and macro-summaries of developments. Such field research could also help to generate policy recommendations as to how the various inconsistencies of the EU’s external human rights promotion could be tackled in practice that are pointed out by many authors studying EU foreign policy. Part II scrutinises the various inconsistencies that characterise the EU’s approach to human rights in its external relations. These deserve special attention as such inconsistencies undermine the credibility and efficiency of the EU’s engagement in third countries and its promotion of human rights. Therefore these, often interrelated, inconsistencies are worthy of consideration by decision makers as these have consequences on policy outcomes and should thus be looked at in more detail. Part II also outlines the theoretical debates about the question whether and to what extent human rights are (and should be) part of European foreign policy, besides highlighting the main criticisms of the EU’s external human rights engagement, which will be revisited by the case studies. Part III looks more closely at foreign policy tools and instruments, their types, relations and general introduction, with special regard to their possible role in human rights promotion. A detailed description of the various foreign policy tools based on EU documents was already provided by Deliverable 12.1, therefore this chapter instead investigates how these tools and instruments fit together in a unified fashion thus defining their role and place in the EU’s wider human rights tool kit that require a combined approach to reach their full potential. This part seeks to map instruments by presenting them as a system and looks at various categorisations and classifications, assessing how various tools and instruments hang together, while also noting the existing inconsistencies in their application. Instruments are categorised based on various dichotomies such as hard power versus soft power tools; positive and negative instruments; secret and public instruments; human rights specific and general instruments; unilaterally and multilaterally applied instruments; tools along the diplomatic-economic- military axis; discretionary, mandatory and prohibited instruments. The chapter closes with recommendations concerning how some of the shortcomings could be tackled. Part IV is devoted to presenting and mapping instruments of EU enlargement. Enlargement policy requires special attention not only because it is set at the boundary between EU external and internal policies, allowing for questions of coherence and consistency to be discussed from this particular angle, it is also central to human rights promotion by EU institutions. While human rights have acquired an increasing role in enlargement policy since the 1990s, enlargement policy discourse and practice in turn over the last two decades have played a significant part in shaping the EU’s human rights policy. Thus enlargement greatly contributed to the development of the EU’s external human rights policy, demonstrated also by the fact that a number of instruments developed in enlargement policy have been taken over to other EU policy fields or have potential to be so. The chapter outlines how enlargement policy has evolved over the last twenty years in terms of placing growing importance on human rights, with a focus on the period since 2007; while it also maps relevant instruments currently applied within the enlargement framework discussing these in more detail based on relevant EU documents and academic works.