European Foreign Affairs Review

Volume 23 (2018)

Volume 23 (2018) / Issue 3

Joris Larik, 'The EU’s Global Strategy, Brexit and ‘America First’' (2018) 23 European Foreign Affairs Review, Issue 3, pp. 343–364


In less unusual times, the European Union’s Global Strategy for Foreign and Security Policy would have been received as merely the latest iteration of the main tenets and ambitions of EU external action – this time with an enhanced dose of pragmatism to respond to a more challenging international environment. However, with ‘Brexit’ looming large and one and a half years into the Trump Presidency in the United States, the Global Strategy has acquired a new level of significance. This article argues that while meant to express a largely uncontroversial ‘Western’ consensus, it now needs to be re-contextualized as a distinctive vision in the face of trends of antiglobalism and Euroscepticism. This concerns in particular the Strategy’s emphasis on rules-based global governance. Challenged by both President Trump’s ‘America First’ policy and the British government’s course for a ‘hard Brexit’, the Global Strategy now represents a contested blueprint and rallying point for a continued pursuit of a liberal world order based on the rule of law.

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ISSN: 1384-6299
ID: EERR2018030