Hugo Paemen


I have been invited to discuss the changing role of the European Union (or “EU”) in the world today. Let me start by highlighting some random examples of EU action in international affairs during 1997. As Europe continues to integrate domestically, it will be forced to reassess the image that it projects in the world. As it does so, institutional reform will become even more compelling if the European Union is to conduct the coherent external policy that most people in the world expect of it. Some had hoped that last the June 1997 Summit in Amsterdam would at least start to solve these institutional questions, but the heads of state and government decided that the time was not yet ripe for change. But it is only a matter of time before the myriad of challenges facing the European Union and its role in the world force the issue back onto the agenda.