The economic crisis is severely affecting many EU policy areas. Observers have been looking very closely at the distressing effects brought about by the austerity measures implemented by European governments. However, little attention has been paid to the impact on the foreign policy of the European Union and its member states. This "ISPI Studies" intends to shed light on this issue and tries to understand to what extent this general disregard has being translating into an increasingly inward-looking attitude of the EU in times of crisis.
Since the outbreak of the EU debt crisis, severe budget constraints and urgent domestic concerns have been seriously affecting Greece’s foreign policy.
The first part of the paper tries to shed light on how structural factors underlying both Greek policy-making and its regional context produce stabilizing effects on the country’s foreign policy. The emphasis is put on the outcomes of the Europeanization process and NATO’s influence on South-eastern Europe and the Eastern Mediterranean.
The crisis in the eurozone has had profound effects not only on the European economy, but also on the international actorness of the EU. This is particularly evident in US-EU relations. As certified by the last US-EU summit on November 28, 2011, the EU – for the first time – stopped being part of the solution and became part of the problem, turning into an issue on the transatlantic agenda. This calls for attention to the potential challenges that the eurozone crisis poses not just to transatlantic relations but also to global governance.
Foreign policy, unsurprisingly, has not occupied a central role in the campaign for the general elections of 24-25 February 2013. Relations with the European Union, including key Member States, have been discussed against Italy’s problems with fiscal austerity and economic development. One interesting exception is the debate over the vote in favour of granting Palestine observer status in the United Nations that the Monti government gave in December 2012, without a discussion in Parliament.
Japan is facing hard times. Domestic politics is stuck in a stalemate and is as ever replacing Prime Minister every 12-18 months. Economic growth remains sluggish, the country is burdened with public debt amounting to 200% of the country’s GDP while at the same being confronted with a possibly nuclear-armed North Korea and a militarily growing assertive China. ISPI Studies has invited five authors European, Japanese and American authors to make sense of the current state and trends of Japanese politics, economics and foreign policies.