This book analyses the relationship between human rights and foreign policy. It focuses on the integration of human rights in foreign policy-making in the case of the European Union. The argument posited here, is that considerations for human rights in third countries and democracy-promoting policies constitute expressions of the common values shared between EU Member States. These policies reflect their democratic norms and are part of the EU’s wider project to promote co-operation and integration in order to move closer towards a security community and democratic peace between like-minded states. The EU’s human rights policies have developed, in spite of numerous challenges and shortcomings, largely because institutions matter. The EU institutions have enabled the adoption of common positions; they have provided narratives of mutual identification between the Member States; they have initiated innovative human rights projects through networks with non-state actors and have elaborated policy instruments to this effect. Through these, they have challenged traditional state-centric approaches to foreign policy-making. The conjunction of these elements, it is argued, has further influenced the Member States’ understanding and perception of their interests, which in turn has been reflected in a virtuous cycle of institutionalised, committed and increasingly determined promotion of human rights in their external relations.
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Author: Ruby Gropas