The Added Value of European Diplomacy for EU Regional and International Actorness
This chapter investigates how the EU and its Member States developed European diplomacy as a foreign policy tool. It critically assesses in what manner European diplomacy can support the EU in exerting agency and power in its relations with third countries, contributing to its actorness. By drawing conceptually on the changing nature of diplomatic interaction, the chapter emphasises the communicative and relational character of diplomacy and therefore illustrates the strengths but also challenges to the EU as a diplomatic actor. The chapter shows that due to its relational character, the mode and quality of European diplomacy is highly dependent on third country context, but also on the sectoral emphasis of European foreign action vis-à-vis the country/region, speaking to issues of legitimacy and recognition. The EU is still a peculiar regional and global actor, and this peculiarity is also mirrored in the added value of European diplomacy.