Member States dilemma – EU policies and national projections

Katarzyna Sosnowska

EU Policies are mostly multilevel, what means that in some point they interact with policies of particular Member States. Those have to adjust their goals in scrupulous areas to the common vision but on the other hand do not want to loos their national priorities out of sight. Is it possible to reconcile national adaptation to EU level with maintenance of national projections?

As it was mentioned in EU Foreign Policy and National Foreign Policies Member States share different power level. For smaller countries it can create the situation that they will have no chance to pursue their national interests if they are not common ones for more participants. When it comes to particular goals to achieve I agree with the distinction of 4 main categories of interests: collective, common, common but where MS are competitors and totally incompatible ones. There are some tasks that cannot work out or be build properly  at the national level itself but within European Union they are considered to be basic values ​​and can be called „collective interests”. For some Member States it was and still is easier to achieve their goals in that area (creation of democratic society, protection of human rights, economic progress, building national structural policy, etc.) in the Community. Limited number of common interests is perceive as a main obstacle in forming a single position. However, as it can be see nowadays, states with familiar visions can develop a very strong position and achieve the desired goal  (especially when it comes to the biggest states like Great Britain, France and Germany).

Problem appears when it comes to stability of interests. National roles and conceptions, country priorities can varied during the time and are also dependent from political changes. Among EU’s priorities we can say that it is more stable and oriented on long-term perspective. The difference in the reactions of the EU countries that have different power level on the international stage, thus have different requirements, feasibility, etc. could be the obstacle to forming common policy on the EU level

National adaptation require changes in values, policy-making mechanism, priorities and so on, but on the other hand every country know what can expect from joining the EU. That process should not be generalized, because so-called Europeanization require different changes in different countries. During the time of accession negotiations countries have already started to change and adjust their national policies to EU level, so it shouldn’t make a huge significance.

To sum up it is necessary from my point of view to highlight that national adaptation to the EU level can be perceive as a win win game. All participants can profit from it in one way or the other. This may require compromise from Member States on the entry of national projections but can spill in other areas. On the side of EU – they help particular countries in adjusting and in return gets other advantages i.e. special relations with certain regions. Relation between national and European policies should be should be seen more as a complementary and facilitating to each other. Perfect summary for the subject is a quote Europeanization process is interactive, with the member states ‘uploading’ their policies to the EU level, and the EU influencing member states’ foreign policies.


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