Croatian International Relations Review

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Asle Toje'

The European Union (EU) today possesses capabilities and institutions, but is still unable to deliver the foreign policies expected owing to a lack of decision-making procedures capable of overcoming dissent. The EU lacks cohesiveness, the capacity to make assertive collective decisions and stick to them. The gap between what the member-states are expected to agree on and what they are actually able to agree upon is both the cause and effect of the ambiguous nature of EU foreign policies. Attempts at overcoming the weakness of consensus policy-making have only marginally improved the consistency and effectiveness of the Common Foreign and Security Policy. The Consensus-Expectations Gap is today the main reason why the EU in the foreseeable future will remain a partial and inconsistent foreign policy actor.