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Alliance of Values: The EU’s Quest for Influence in International Organizations

Salla Huikuri
University of Helsinki
Salla Huikuri
University of Helsinki
Charlotta Spolander
University of Helsinki
Open Panel

Abstract

The EU is committed to the development and consolidation of rule of law and respect for human rights. In the international sphere, the main venue to promote these values is the UN General Assembly. While the 27 EU-member states coordinate their policy in the GA and its Third and Sixth Committees, the EU experiences difficulties in gaining enduring support from third countries for its vision of multilateral order. Third states often vote along the lines of other blocks and in favor of traditional state sovereignty. Meanwhile, European countries have succeeded in acting as a driving force for the International Criminal Court, enabling it to emerge and function without the support of the most powerful countries. This paper examines these two interrelated fields of EU external policymaking by questioning why the EU is successful in the case of the ICC and what is going wrong in the framework of the UN? The paper will introduce a new set of analysis by bringing in ideas of alliance formation and -building into the debate on EU’s foreign policy. We ask how the EU can increase the attractiveness and payoffs of its ‘alliance of values’ and bring in countries to support its vision of multilateral order? We define the prerequisites for the ‘alliance of values’ through the discussion and revision of theories on alliances. We also take stock of the EU’s promotion of soft values in the international arena by analyzing voting behavior, and the potential policy decisions of non-European states, in the UN.