International Role of the European Union in the Western Balkans? Measuring Consistency and Coherence of Value Expression in the EU's External Relations


The aim of this paper is to examine the international role of the European Union in regard to the Western Balkans based on constructivist ground and drawing on an analysis of discursive practices. Focusing on questions of consistency and coherence in role concept by analyzing expressions of values and norms in foreign policy documents, conclusions are drawn regarding the EU's international role towards the region.The EU's foreign policy is found to be very consistent throughout the implementation of the Lisbon Treaty. Nevertheless, it is clearly lacking cross-institutional coherence. The emphasis on rational objectives over normative issues further undermines the Union's impact to induce domestically driven reforms.