The idea that the European Union might be a major global power has surprisingly few takers. It rarely crops up in any of the debates about the current or future shape of the international system, where the United States retains its dominance and fascination continues to grow with the rise of China, India, Brazil and other emerging powers. Europe, meanwhile, is accused of being too parochial and introspective, of being too protectionist, and of falling behind in its preparations for the world of tomorrow. Europe, it seems, has become the past while Asia and Latin America are the future. And even when the EUs role in the world is discussed, it is often disdained. Does the EU count in the world? asked Commission president Manuel Barroso in 2010. Yes, he answered. But does the EU count as much as it should? he continued. Not yet, he answered, because the EU was not doing enough to define and defend the European interest.1 There are two main reasons for the mismatch between prospect and reality. First, we remain - even in the market- and trade-driven age of globalization - infatuated with military power. No matter the questionable value of violence as a tool of statecraft, we remain more impressed with sticks than with carrots.
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