The EU Global Strategy on Foreign and Security Policy (EUGS) is a rare opportunity for the European Union to think strategically and to be strategic. In the foreign policy realm, the EU has developed multiple and mostly pertinent ‘policies’ or ‘strategies’, but at the very least lacks a clear strategic vision that European citizens can share (or criticise) and partners abroad can understand. How does the EU see the world? What does the EU stand for? What are its strategic interests?
As a unique and specific political entity, the EU can probably not develop a strategic document that would be similar in scope and ambition to national white papers. It should, however, work towards establishing a shared vision and a common ambition.
The 2003 European Security Strategy (ESS) was a first step in this regard as it spelled out a coherent set of principles, values and priorities, even though it failed to offer a strategy per se, as it was focused on a common narrative for the new Common Foreign and Security Policy (CFSP). In the current process, the choice of a ‘global’ strategy is a wise one as the document should cover all the tools and agencies engaged in EU’s external policies beyond those narrowly defined by CFSP and CSDP. But in addition to being global, the EUGS must be strategic as well.