Member States Interests or European Norms? The Theoretical Analysis of European Union's Common Foreign and Security Decision Making Process

Document Type : Research Paper



EU common foreign and security policy (CFSP) is a milestone in the history of European integration which was born under Maastricht's treaty. Based on the provisions of Maastricht Treaty, the promotion and consolidation of democracy, rule of law, respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms are outlined as objectives of a common foreign and security policy. Since then, the European Union presented itself as ((Normative Power)). The present article seeks to theoretically examine the EU's common foreign and security policy decision-making process and to answer whether it is possible in practice to follow the European norms as announced. The research findings show that due to the intergovernmental nature of the common foreign and security policy decision-making process, the interests of the member states prioritize over European norms and member states only allow the European Union, as long as they are, to operate as a normative power in foreign and security policy that it does not conflict with their vital national interests.


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Volume 50, Issue 3
October 2020
Pages 787-802
  • Receive Date: 14 January 2018
  • Revise Date: 21 February 2018
  • Accept Date: 21 February 2018
  • First Publish Date: 22 September 2020