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The metamorphosis of the EU from a coal and steel Community into a 26 member supranational Union with a significant regional and international economic, legal, and political leverage, evidently brings to the fore the definition (or the redefinition) of the EU's role in regional and international affairs…
Before answering the question whether the EU should focus on being a civilian, normative, or military power, it is important to establish how these different forms of power have historically manifested in the EU's policies and activities.
Conceptualising the terms 'civilian', 'normative', and 'military' are important in any analysis where these terms are used to describe the activities of EU's. Maull's (1990) view of a civilian power includes the employment of "solidarity with other societies, and a sense of responsibility for the future of the world - and particularly the global environment". (p.106) It is important to note that Maull's analysis of the exercise of civilian power is quite restrictive as it relates to the state or the exercise of national civilian power. Thus using a 'statist' perspective of the exercise of civilian power in the context of a supranational EU, would have its possible limitations. Vital lessons can however be drawn from his analysis and can be transposed into the EU's experience.
Manner's (2002) conception of the EU as a civilian power is interpreted primarily in economic terms ...
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