chapter  12
21 Pages

The Europeanisation of Greek Foreign Policy

Greece was long considered the black sheep of the European Union (EU) for its economic underperformance – if not mismanagement – and its obstructiveness within the framework of the EU’s foreign policy. The second half of the 1990s marked a massive transformation in both areas. By the turn of the century Greece was emerging from a period of international rehabilitation as a full and equally respected EU member and NATO ally. Utilising the most minimalist understanding of the term, that of the impact of EU membership on a member state (Featherstone and Radaelli 2003: 3), it could be argued that this transformation has resulted from a process of Europeanisation. But what does Europeanisation mean in the Greek context and specifically in the field of foreign policy? And why is it that the effects of this process only began to become more apparent almost 15 years after Greek accession? There is a burgeoning literature on Europeanisation of the domestic

sphere, which is beyond the scope of this article.1 There is also a growth

industry in the examination of the Europeanisation of national foreign polices (see e.g. Tonra 2001). This builds on extensive and valuable work that has been carried out on national foreign policies in the context of the EU and European foreign policy (Hill 1983; 1996; Manners and Whitman 2000; Wallace and Patterson 1978). For the most part this type of analysis concentrates on the impact that European Political Co-operation (EPC) and the Common Foreign and Security Policy (CFSP) have had on the formulation and practices of foreign policy within member states: it concentrates on the domestic impact (Smith 2000). Inherent in this argument is the supposition that this type of domestic impact has a distinct effect on both the style and substance of foreign policy. Through processes of adaptation and socialisation it is both practices and values or norms which are being transmitted and result in what is called Europeanisation through the ‘top-down’ approach. An extension of this has been promoted through constructivist thought.

This suggests that this form of Europeanisation is not simply adaptation or socialisation, nor is it integration or neo-functionalism, but rather the gradual formation of collective identity, which is just as applicable to country-specific foreign policies within European foreign policy as it is in the domestic context. The third broadly identifiable element of Europeanisation of national

foreign policies is commonly referred to as the ‘bottom-up’ approach. Here national interests and policy preferences are neither usurped nor transformed by a European foreign policy agenda but rather are projected onto it. States use the vehicle of the EU and its weight in the international arena to promote national foreign policy objectives. In this case the impact of membership in the form of Europeanisation comes about through belonging to a particular institution of like-minded states, which collectively could be a more successful vehicle for the attainment of specific goals. The process of Europeanisation of Greek foreign policy has been

lengthy and tortuous. It is more than the attainment of ‘Europeanness’ or being considered ‘pro-European’ or ‘European-oriented’. It has involved both Westernisation and modernisation. From the mid-1990s onwards, during a process of rehabilitation from the Papandreou years and the fallout of the disintegration of Yugoslavia, it involved the pursuit of normalisation. More recently, in what I call the period of postrehabilitation, key Greek foreign policy interests have been partly denationalised and multilateralised. In essence, the real Europeanisation of Greek foreign policy has occurred in the domain of the translocation of Greek foreign policy preferences and interests in at least two key issue areas, Turkey and Cyprus, onto the EU agenda. While Europeanisation has involved features of both the ‘top-down’ and ‘identity formation’ processes, it is argued here that the Europeanisation of Greek foreign policy can best be examined and understood through a specific kind of ‘bottom-up’ approach. While the style of Greek foreign policy has

become Europeanised under the impact of EU membership, Greek policy-makers have, at various times and in a variety of ways, Europeanised the substance of their foreign policy.