The Impacts of Disagreements Between the EU Member States on the Union’s Position in the World System

Document Type : Original Article


Associate Professor of International Relations, Allameh Tabataba'i University, Tehran, Iran


European Union (EU) is one of the most important and coherent state-based unions in both political and economic dimensions, that has taken great strides in developing convergence and coordination and also in expanding its sphere of influence after the World War II; Although it has brought a new concept of collaboration and convergence in the literature of international relations, more attention is needed to understand its position in the global system. In this paper two main objectives will be followed. First, what are the impacts of disagreements among members of the EU on its current position in the world system? And what would be the impacts of continuation of disagreements among the members of EU on its position, and also on its strategic future?
The research methodology is descriptive-analytic, and data gathering procedure is based on library findings. Data analysis is also based on qualitative method.
Research Findings
This paper initially discusses the convergence between member states of EU in the context of functionalism and neo-functionalism theories, and subsequently, the impacts of continuation of disagreements among the members of EU on intraregional and international matters, and also on its strategic future. The first intra-union matter is the disagreements between different wings in the union about common foreign and security policy (CFSP) in response to the question that how much the member states would put aside their independent foreign policy and adopt the united foreign policy. The other important subject here is the rate of effectiveness between great powers and weak-newcomer members in decision making. The second considerable matter is the eastern enlargement and joining new members such as Turkey that has increased the disagreements between member states. Structural dilemma, which has been with the EU since its foundation, is the next issue that has made difficulties. Recent Financial crisis is the other controversial factor that has made some disagreements between member states notably economic powers. Refugee crisis is the other controversial factor that has damaged the convergence of EU member states. Lastly, by a brief review of controversial issues of international matters, the impacts of these disagreements and opposing views on EU’s strategic position would be addressed and accordingly the EU in the domain of international politics should move on the base of “common” foreign policy not on a ”united” one.
Eventually, its considered that disagreements and opposing views among the members of European Union in different international and internal issues such as disagreements in common foreign and security policy, eastern enlargement and joining new members, recent financial crisis, structural dilemma, and lastly the refugee crisis, has faced EU do not have a functional identity, and so, its strategic role and position in the future world is in doubt and it will just remain as an economic power.


Volume 12, Issue 43
September 2017
Pages 152-167
  • Receive Date: 05 July 2016
  • Revise Date: 17 August 2016
  • Accept Date: 15 September 2016
  • First Publish Date: 22 September 2016