Thursday, May 12, 2005


Why no common foreign policy?

Why is there little sign of a common foreign policy for the European Union? Indeed why haven't other parts of the world even attempted such an ambitious project? The answer seems to be that governments, worldwide, are constitutionally bound to act in their nation's economic interests - accordingly governments are allowed many interpretations of what's best including, for example, fiscal indiscipline and how little assistance to give internationally.

The UN Charter was a bold attempt at a global constitution, to prevent a repeat of the indiscipline that led to WW2 - however the Charter proved unenforceable. As a result key economic actors split from the UN into the G8, thinking they would be better able to address the problems of the global economy. But the G8 is floundering too - it is accused of being insufficiently representative and lacks enforcement powers. The absence of international enforcement is a common theme.
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