chapter  12
15 Pages

Conclusion: Valuing principles in European union foreign policy

We have sought to understand how values and principles shape, and are shaped

by, EU foreign policy relations with the rest of the world. Nobel peace prize

laureate, John Hume, argued that it is the duty of everyone to understand the

principles of the EU in order to resolve conflict worldwide. African aid cam-

paigner, Bono, has reversed this argument in order to advocate that addressing

the problems of Africa would give the EU a chance to re-describe its values

system in a more positive way. Both of these voices from outside of academic

debate remind us of the importance of valuing principles in the study of EU

foreign policy. To conclude, we will try to value principles by considering what

our analysis of EU foreign policy tells us about the EU as a normative political

and social system. As stated at the outset, this book was aimed at providing

some answers to these under-researched questions of the relationships between

values, principles, foreign policy, the international identity of the EU (i.e. the

way in which the EU is constituted, constructed and represented inter-

nationally), and the political identity of the Europeans.