The EU as a “force for good”: 15 years of ENP and a few years of “crisis”; Where is the stable and democratic neighbourhood?

University essay from Malmö universitet/Fakulteten för kultur och samhälle (KS)

Abstract: This thesis is an attempt to analyse whether the EU can be conceived as a “force for good” in the world, where through its actions in its surroundings, EU is very eager to take a role as a “Normative Power”, and to be conceived as a model for integration and democracy.This thesis is looking at this narrative from two different perspectives. Firstly, through an analysis of the successfulness of the ENP, through looking at the official EU documents and the progression in key areas in between them, and contrasting them to critique by Human Rights NGOs. Secondly, interconnected with the ENP, this thesis will look at the EU’s response to the recent refugee crisis on its southern border, and its current developments, where the EU’s sea rescue operation “Operation Sophia” has been diminished, and the refugees rescued are taken back to Libya by the Libyan Coast Guard, contrary to UNHCR’s position on returns to Libya. This issue will be looked at through the perspective of the refugees’ democratic rights, and invokes questions regarding the legitimacy of closing one’s borders, and whether the “demos” can be legitimately bounded or does the Democratic Theory insist for the demos to be unbounded.This thesis concludes to find itself agreeing with the previous debates regarding the ENP, where the paradoxes of EU foreign policy have been researched 10-years back, little has changed. These two “cases” researched also contribute to the fact that the inconsistency of EU’s action is eroding its claims both to “Normative Power” and to be a “Force for Good”.

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