From Meseberg to Sibiu: EU’s Weltpolitikfähigkeit

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Commission President Juncker repeatedly stated that it was time for the EU to become weltpolitikfähig, to be able to play a role, as a Union, in shaping global affairs. Merkel and Macron backed this call in the Declaration of Meseberg. But the one million dollar question is how this could be achieved.

In this paper, Nicole Koenig evaluates the four paths towards EU ‘Weltpolitikfähigkeit’ that the Declaration of Meseberg sketches:

  1. Qualified majority voting in the Common Foreign and Security Policy
  2. An EU Security Council
  3. A stronger EU voice in the United Nations Security Council
  4. Flexible and mini-lateral cooperation

The analysis shows that (a) France and Germany are not always aligned on following these paths and that (b) each of the options raises tensions across a trilemma between internal legitimacy, effectiveness and efficiency/speed.

The paper proposes a ‘flexi-structured’ compromise that strikes a balance between these aims with a view to implementation by the Sibiu Summit in May 2019. This compromise should be upgraded to a more ambitious version in the medium-term.